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Walmart mass shooting victim's mom calls Virginia store memorial 'slap in the face'

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Posted at 1:09 PM, Apr 20, 2023

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — The Walmart in the Greenbrier area of Chesapeake, Virginia, reopened Wednesday nearly five months after a manager shot and killed six Walmart employees before taking his own life.

The reopening ceremony, which was open to the public, drew a large crowd.

However, not everyone feels comfortable returning to the store, including one of the shooting victim's loved ones.

Randy Blevins, Fernando Chavez-Barron, Lorenzo Gamble, Tyneka Johnson, Brian Pendleton and Kellie Pyle, were the six workers killed in a shooting at a Walmart store in Chesapeake on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022.
Randy Blevins, Fernando Chavez-Barron, Lorenzo Gamble, Tyneka Johnson, Brian Pendleton and Kellie Pyle, were the six workers killed in a shooting at a Walmart store in Chesapeake on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022.

Linda Gamble is the mother of Lorenzo Gamble, who was 43 when he died in the mass shooting. A heartbroken Linda said since her son tragically died, she hasn't been back to the Walmart store, and has no intention of going to any Walmart location.

“No, I don't plan to use Walmart anymore. I just can't do it. Because I think my son should’ve been alive today," said Linda. "If it wasn't for the situation there, they knew [the shooter] was a problem manager... Everybody was complaining about him, it should have been taken care of. But it seemed that it wasn't taken care of.”

At her home in Chesapeake, she still has pictures of her son hanging everywhere.

TIMELINE: Community still healing as Chesapeake Walmart where mass shooting took place reopens doors

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Most of the victims’ family members and friends that News 3 anchor Pari Cruz spoke with told her they still weren’t ready to chat with her, or even ready for the store to reopen.

When Pari showed Linda the video of the memorial, she said she didn’t like it.

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“To me, it should have been something different. And then they're getting ready to open it right back up. It's just like a slap in the face. It's just like, Walmart don't care. Because they should have really did something for the family," said Linda.

In addition to remodeling the store, Walmart constructed a memorial commemorating the mass shooting victims. The memorial has six benches, one for each of the store employees who died in the shooting. However, the victims' names do not appear anywhere on the memorial. Walmart told us they currently have no plans to put the victims' names on display.

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