CHESAPEAKE (United States): A Walmart official opened fire on co-workers in the break room of a Virginia store, killing six people in the country’s second high-profile shooting in four days, police said Wednesday and witnesses.
The shooter, who apparently shot himself in the head, was dead when officers found him, police said. There was no clear motive for the shooting, which also left at least six injured, one seriously.
The store in Chesapeake, Virginia’s second-largest city, was busy just before Tuesday night’s attack as people stocked up ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, a shopper told a local TV station.
Employee Briana Tyler said the 15-20 person night storage team had just gathered in the break room to go over the morning plan. She said the meeting was about to start, and a team leader said, “Okay guys, we’ve got a light night ahead of us,” when another team leader, Andre Bing, 31, turned and opened fire on Staff.
“It was by the grace of God that a bullet missed me,” Tyler said. “I saw the smoke coming out of the gun and I literally saw bodies falling. It was crazy.”
Officials said on the city’s Twitter account that three of the dead, including Bing, were found in the rest room. One of the victims was found near the storefront. Three others were taken to hospitals where they died of their injuries.
Walmart said in a statement that Bing was an overnight team leader and had worked for the company since 2010.
At first, Tyler didn’t think the shooting was real. “Everything was going so fast. I thought it was like some kind of test. For example, if you have an active shooter, this is how you respond.
Tyler, who worked with Bing the night before, said he wasn’t targeting anyone in particular.
“He was just shooting all over the room. It didn’t matter who he hit. He said nothing. He wasn’t looking at anyone in a specific way.”
Tyler, who started at Walmart two months ago, said she’s never had a negative encounter with Bing, but others have told her he’s “the manager to watch.” She said Bing used to write about people for no reason.
“He just liked to choose, honestly. I think he was just looking for little things to do, because he had the authority. That’s just the kind of person he was. That’s what a lot of people were saying about him,” she said.
A neighbour, Alicia McDuffie, said the police “took the whole street” in the middle of the night and forced their way into Bing’s house. His mother, Vera McDuffiesaw officers approach Bing’s front door with a ram.
Chesapeake Police Chief Mark G. Solesky said Bing used a pistol, and police later said he had multiple magazines. Solesky could not confirm whether the victims were all employees.
Employee Jessie Wilczewski told Norfolk TV station WAVY that she hid under the table, and Bing looked at her and pointed his gun at her. He told her to go home and she left.
The attack was the second time in just over a week that Virginia suffered a major shooting. Three University of Virginia football players were fatally shot in a charter bus as they returned to campus from a field trip on November 13. Two other students were injured.
The attack at Walmart came three days after a person opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado, killing five people and injuring 17. Last spring, the country was rocked by the deaths of 21 people when a gunman stormed an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. .
Tuesday night’s shooting also brought back memories of another at a Walmart in 2019, when a gunman targeting Mexicans opened fire on a store in El Paso, Texas, and killed 22 people.
A database run by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University that tracks all mass murders in America since 2006 shows that the United States has now had 40 mass murders so far in 2022. This is compares to 45 for all of 2019, the highest. year in the database, which defines a massacre as at least four people killed, not counting the killer.
The database defines a massacre as at least four people killed, not counting the killer.
According to the database, more than a quarter of the massacres have taken place since October 21, spanning eight states and leaving 51 people dead. Nine of those 11 incidents were shootings.
Notably, the database does not include the recent shooting at the University of Virginia because that attack did not meet the threshold of four fatalities, not including the shooter.
President Joe Biden tweeted that he and the first lady mourn the families of the victims. “We mourn those who will have empty seats at their Thanksgiving table because of these tragic events – we need to take greater action.”
A 911 call about the shooting came in just after 10 p.m. Solesky didn’t know how many customers were inside, whether the shooter was working, or whether a security guard was present.
Kimberley ShupeJalon’s mother, Walmart employee Jones, told reporters that her 24-year-old son had been shot in the back. She said he was in good condition and speaking on Wednesday, after initially being placed on a ventilator.
Shupe said he learned of the shooting from a friend, who went to a family reunification center to find out where Jones was.
“If he’s not answering his phone, he’s not answering texts and there’s a shooting at his work, you just put two and two together,” Shupe said. “It was a shock at first, but eventually I kept thinking, he’ll be fine.”
Walmart said in a statement it was working with law enforcement and “focused on doing everything we can to support our associates and their families.”
In the aftermath of the El Paso shootings, the company made the decision in September 2019 to stop selling certain types of ammunition and asked customers to no longer openly carry guns in its stores.
It stopped selling handgun ammunition as well as short-barreled rifle ammunition, such as the .223 and 5.56 calibers used in military-style weapons. Walmart has also halted handgun sales in Alaska.
The company ceased selling handguns in the mid-1990s in all states except Alaska. The latest move marked its complete exit from that business and allowed it to focus solely on shotguns and related ammunition.
Many of its stores are in rural areas where hunters depend on Walmart for their gear.
Tyler’s grandfather, Richard Tatesaid he dropped his granddaughter off for her 10 p.m. shift, then parked the car and went to buy some dish soap.
When he first heard the gunshots, he thought they might be balloons bursting. But he soon saw other customers and employees running away, and he ran away too.
Tate reached her car and called her granddaughter.
“I could tell she was upset,” he said. “But I could also tell she was alive.”

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