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Did gunman’s ‘silencer’ make a difference in the carnage?

Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen, left, Virginia Beach Chief of Police James Cervera, center, and Mayor Bobby Dyer listen during a news conference Saturday, June 1, 2019 in Virginia Beach, Va. DeWayne Craddock, a longtime city employee, opened fire at the municipal building Friday before police shot and killed him, authorities said. (Bill Tiernan/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

Virginia — The shooter who killed 12 people in a government office building in Virginia Beach used a firearm equipped with a suppressor that muffles the sound of gunfire.

It’s the nightmare scenario that gun-control advocates have warned about amid efforts to ease restrictions on buying the devices.

They say the “silencers” make it too easy for shooters to escape detection and inflict mass carnage.

But gun-rights advocates and most law enforcement experts say DeWayne Craddock’s use of a suppressor on his .45-caliber handgun likely had no bearing on his ability to kill so many people in so little time Friday.

Instead, they say, his familiarity with the building as an employee and even possibly his military background gave him a tactical advantage in carrying out the rampage.