A Walmart supervisor opened fire on fellow employees gathered in the break room of a Virginia retailer, a witness stated Wednesday. Six individuals died in the nation’s second high-profile mass taking pictures in a handful of days.
The gunman, who apparently killed himself, was useless when police discovered him, Chesapeake Police Chief Mark G. Solesky stated. There was no clear motive for the taking pictures, which additionally left 4 individuals in the hospital.
The retailer was busy simply earlier than the assault Tuesday night time with individuals stocking up forward of the Thanksgiving vacation, a consumer informed a neighborhood TV station.
Employee Briana Tyler stated that employees had gathered in the shop’s break room as they usually did forward of their shifts.
“I looked up, and my manager just opened the door and he just opened fire,” she informed ABC’s “Good Morning America,” including that “multiple people” dropped to the ground.
“He didn’t say a word, he didn’t say anything at all,” she stated.
Mr. Solesky confirmed the shooter was a Walmart worker however didn’t give his title as a result of his household has not been notified. He couldn’t affirm whether or not the victims had been all employees.
“I am devastated by the senseless act of violence that took place late last night in our city,” Mayor Rick W. West stated in an announcement posted on the town’s Twitter account Wednesday. “Chesapeake is a tightknit community and we are all shaken by this news.”
A database run by The Associated Press, USA Today, and Northeastern University that tracks each mass killing in America going again to 2006 reveals this yr has been particularly unhealthy. The United States has now had 40 mass killings to date this yr, second to the 45 that occurred for all of 2019. The database defines a mass killing as a minimum of 4 individuals killed, not together with the killer.
The assault on the Walmart got here three days after an individual opened fire at a homosexual nightclub in Colorado, killing 5 individuals and wounding 17. Earlier in the yr, the nation was shaken by the deaths of 21 when a gunman stormed an elementary faculty in Uvalde, Texas.
Tuesday’s taking pictures additionally introduced again reminiscences of one other at a Walmart in 2019, when a gunman police say was focusing on Mexicans opened fire at a retailer in El Paso, Texas, and killed 22 individuals.
A 911 name concerning the taking pictures in Chesapeake, which is Virginia’s second-largest metropolis and lies subsequent to the seaside communities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach, got here in simply after 10 p.m. The retailer was open on the time, however Mr. Solesky didn’t know what number of customers had been inside or whether or not the gunman was working.
Asked whether or not there was a safety guard current, the police chief stated he didn’t know.
Joetta Jeffery informed CNN that she obtained textual content messages from her mom who was inside the shop when the photographs had been fired. Her mom, Betsy Umphlett, was not injured.
“I’m crying, I’m shaking,” Ms. Jeffery stated. “I had just talked to her about buying turkeys for Thanksgiving, then this text came in.”
One man was seen wailing at a hospital after studying that his brother was useless, and others shrieked as they left a convention heart arrange as a household reunification heart, The Virginian-Pilot reported.
Camille Buggs, a former Walmart worker, informed the paper she went to the convention heart in search of details about her former coworkers.
“You always say you don’t think it would happen in your town, in your neighborhood, in your store – in your favorite store and that’s the thing that has me shocked,” stated Ms. Buggs, of Chesapeake.
Walmart tweeted early Wednesday that it was “shocked at this tragic event.”
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner stated in a tweet that he was “sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake.”
State Sen. Louise Lucas echoed Warner’s sentiment, tweeting that she was “absolutely heartbroken that America’s latest mass shooting took place in a Walmart in my district.”
This story was reported by The Associated Press.