Congresswoman Elaine Luria Reflects on Community Support on the Virginia Beach Shooting Anniversary

May 30, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the one-year anniversary of the May 31st Virginia Beach shooting approaches, Congresswoman Luria reflects on community support provided in the aftermath of the Virginia Beach tragedy.

“May 31st was a day that our Virginia Beach community will never forget. We lost 12 lives to a senseless act of gun violence, and it has forever shaped our community,” said Congresswoman Luria. “Since that day, I have worked tirelessly to advocate for legislative initiatives to help the victims and their families.”

Congresswoman Luria Championed the Virginia Beach Strong Act

Congresswoman Luria introduced the Virginia Beach Strong Act to ensure that donations to families of victims of the May 31 Virginia Beach mass shooting would be tax-deductible. This bill passed the House of Representatives on December 9, passed the Senate on December 10, and was signed into law by President Trump on December 20.

“Congresswoman Luria’s efforts to create and pass legislation added hundreds of thousands of dollars to the VB Strong Fund that directly help the victims of this tragic event,” said local Attorney and Victims Advocate with the Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund, Jeffrey Breit. “Additionally, her legislation will apply to future events, so those victims and donors will not have to deal with the uncertainty we did in Virginia Beach.”

Congresswoman Elaine Luria’s Office Provides Constituent Services and Support for Victims of the Shooting

The weekend following the shooting the Congresswoman kept her offices open and phones on to provide mental health resources, support opportunities, and other available resources to those in need in the Virginia Beach community.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, Congresswoman Elaine Luria was by her community’s side, grieving with them as she attended 9 of the 12 funerals for the victims of the May 31st mass shooting. She spent time with the families who lost a loved one and mourned alongside those affected.

On call to help the families of the victims, Congresswoman Luria’s office helped the family of Alexander Gusev, a native of Belarus, secure visas to come to America for his viewing. “Our father was able to say goodbye to his son, and my wife got support from her father” said Alex’s twin brother Aliaksei Gusev. “You helped us not to feel alone when it was simply vital for us. We were then unable to speak or think, we simply hugged and cried, but we were not alone...we experienced the tragedy together, supporting each other, thanks to Congresswoman Luria.”

Congresswoman Elaine Luria’s Bill to Rename Local Post Office After Mass Shooting Victim Keith Cox Signed into Law

To honor the life and sacrifice of Ryan “Keith” Cox, Congresswoman Elaine Luria’s introduced a bipartisan bill to rename a city post office in his honor. The bill was introduced June 18, passed the House and Senate in July, and was signed into law August 21. On January 24 of this year, the Post Office held a renaming ceremony.

Congresswoman Elaine Luria Introduced House Resolution Honoring Virginia Beach Shooting Victims, First Responders, City Officials, and Broader Community

Virginia’s entire Congressional House delegation joined in supporting Congresswoman Elaine Luria’s resolution honoring the 12 Virginia Beach mass shooting victims, heroic first responders, brave city officials, and resilient broader community.

Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee