CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Six people are dead and at least six other people were taken to the hospital after police said a Walmart employee opened fire inside the Chesapeake store Tuesday night.
The suspected shooter is also dead, from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky. Walmart officials identified the suspect as Andre Bing.
Officers responded to a report of a shooting at the Walmart on Sam’s Circle around 10:15 p.m. and as soon as they arrived — minutes after the first emergency call — they found evidence of a shooting, Chesapeake police spokesman Leo Kosinski said in a briefing.
Over 35 to 40 minutes, officers found multiple dead people and injured people in the store and put rescue and tactical teams together to go inside and provide life-saving measures, he said.
Police said they believe that the shooting had stopped when police arrived, Kosinski said.
Three individuals, including the suspected shooter, were found dead in the break room of the store, Chesapeake officials said. One other person was found dead near the front of the store, while three others succumbed to their injuries after being transported to local hospitals.
During a press conference Wednesday morning, Solesky said a pistol was recovered from the scene. He could not confirm if the victims were also store employees.
Police believe at least 50 people were inside the store when the shooting happened.
"Police are still trying to account for anyone who may have been at the store and witnessed the incident, but fled prior to police arrival," officials said. "Anyone with information may submit it to the FBI hotline, 1-800-CALLFBI."
The store is expected to be closed for several days while detectives process the crime scene.
In an interview with "Good Morning America," an employee at the store, Briana Tyler, said that workers had gathered in the store's break room as they typically did ahead of their shifts when a store manager started shooting.
“I looked up, and my manager just opened the door and he just opened fire,” Tyler said," adding that “multiple people” dropped to the floor.
The Walmart is located just off of Interstate 64 — not far from the I-64 and Interstate 464 interchange.
Sentara Healthcare said five patients from the Walmart were transported to Norfolk General Hospital. Two died at the hospital and two patients are still in critical condition. One patient is in good condition.
A reunification center for immediate family of the victims has been set up at the Chesapeake Conference Center at 700 Conference Center Drive.
Chesapeake Mayor Rick Westreleased a statement that said, in part, "I am devastated by the senseless act of violence that took place last night in our city. My prayers are with all those affected — the victims, their family, their friends, and their coworkers."
Walmart released the following statement on Twitter:
“We are shocked at this tragic event at our Chesapeake, Virginia store. We’re praying for those impacted, the community and our associates. We’re working closely with law enforcement, and we are focused on supporting our associates.”
Sen. Mark Warner tweeted about the shooting early Wednesday morning.
Sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake. I’ll be monitoring developments closely.
In the meantime, I urge all those in the community to listen to guidance from local law enforcement and stay away from the scene.
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) November 23, 2022
Sen. Louise Lucas also sent her thoughts about the shooting.
I am absolutely heartbroken that America’s latest mass shooting took place in a Walmart in my district in Chesapeake, Virginia tonight. I will not rest until we find the solutions to end this gun violence epidemic in our country that has taken so many lives.
— L. Louise Lucas (@SenLouiseLucas) November 23, 2022
Both Governor Glenn Youngkin and Lt. Governor Winsome Earle-Sears released individual statements following the news of the shooting. Youngkin said, in part, "Heinous acts of violence have no place in our communities."
This is the second mass shooting to happen in the Hampton Roads region is just three years. Back in 2019, a disgruntled employee opened fire at a Virginia Beach city building killing 12 people and injuring four othersbefore being killed by police.
The state of Virginia is still healing from another shooting tragedythat happened just nine days beforehand, where three University of Virginia football players were killed, allegedly by another UVA student. Two others, including another football player, were injured.
Around 9:30 a.m., there were reports of another active shooter situation at the Target near the Walmart where the shooting took place in the Greenbrier area, butChesapeake officials have since said this is not true.
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