VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – It’s been one month since the mass shooting inside Building 2 at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center. One of the employees there that day spent a night behind bars this week for allegedly disturbing the peace after he refused to return to the building.
“It’s a nightmare,” said John McIvor.
That nightmare for Jon McIvor began May 31. He was in Building 2 when a gunman killed 12 of his co-workers.
“I can’t believe somebody would do something like that,” McIvor added.
McIvor works in the IT department. For the past month he has been in Building 17. This week he was told he was going back to Building 2.
“People lost their lives in there and right now I wasn’t ready to get back in there and work,” McIvor said.
Tuesday, he met with a supervisor about having to go back to Building 2. According to court records, McIvor became agitated and angry. He then began yelling and stormed out of the office.
“I don’t want to be coerced to go back in there,” McIvor said. “I wanted to talk with HR and see what my options were.”
HR told McIvor they would find another position for him so he didn’t have to return to Building 2. Wednesday at work, police showed up and arrested him. His supervisor Darrell Riddick went to the magistrate and took out a warrant against McIvor for disturbing the peace. He ended up spending 24 hours in jail.
“I just want to clear my name and get back to work,” he said.
City officials said they can’t talk about personnel matters. Riddick told WAVY to talk with the city and not to call him again. McIvor’s attorney thinks these charges are crazy.
“The allegation is that he was agitated, that he was annoyed and that he raised his voice,” said attorney Taite Westerndorf. “Those things may be true, but they are not criminal. It’s not criminal to raise your voice and it is not criminal to be agitated. I think under the circumstances it is understandable that he would feel that way.”
No one was ever threatened.
“When I read the criminal complaint I was outraged not only as an attorney but as a member of the community to see this is how we are treating the survivors of the tragedy,” Westerndorf added.
McIvor said he simply doesn’t want to go back into Building 2.
“I can’t believe they would ask anyone to go back in there at this point,” McIvor said.
McIvor is scheduled to be back in court in July. He just wants the charges to be dismissed.
WAVY talked with Mayor Bobby Dyer and he repeated that employees who were in Building 2 on May 31 will not be forced to go back to work inside that building.