The shooting happened just after 4 p.m. in the 2400 block of Courthouse Drive, which is next to city hall.
Cervera said the suspect entered the building and began to indiscriminately fire. The suspect fired at police, and police returned fire.
City Council member Barbara Henley was in the parking lot of the complex when she saw people outside. She first thought it was an accident when she saw the police presence, and she found out it was an active-shooter situation when she spoke to people.
Henley said that she heard someone yell, “Get down,” in an authoritative voice.
“I’m just worried to death” and concerned for the safety of the people there, she said. Building 2, where the shooting happened, is an operations building that is accessible to the public and is very open, Henley added.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam also shared his condolences, saying in a statement, “We are devastated by the tragic shooting in Virginia Beach,” and that what happened was “unspeakable, senseless violence.”
Christina Pullen, a spokeswoman for the FBI office in Norfolk, said the bureau is responding to assist Virginia Beach police, The Associated Press reported. The Norfolk office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting local law enforcement, as well.
Police have set up a family assistance center at Princess Anne Middle School.