A Walmart store manager in Chesapeake, Virginia, went on a shooting spree late Tuesday night, killing seven people including himself. One witness claimed the shooter had targeted other managers and was laughing in the process.
What are the details?
Chesapeake police received a 911 call about a shooting on Battlefield Boulevard at 10:12 p.m. Tuesday night, reported WVEC.
Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky later noted that police officers arrived at the Walmart at 1521 Sam’s Circle within two minutes of receiving the first 911 call. They entered the building at 10:16 p.m.. By 11:20 p.m., the scene was declared “safe.”
The chief stated that the “suspect is dead from what we believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
CNN reported that the shooter used a pistol.
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CPD spokesman Leo Kosinski indicated that police found multiple victims dead and injured inside the store.
“We’re also looking for more victims because people could be scared, they could be hiding,” said Kosinski shortly after the incident, accounting for why police continued to search the premises.
Kosinski indicated that the store will remain closed for several days while investigators examine the scene.
At 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday, the City of Chesapeake confirmed on Twitter that there were seven fatalities at Walmart on Sam’s Circle.
Mike Kafka, a spokesman for Sentara Healthcare, told the Associated Press that five patients from the Walmart were being treated at Norfolk General Hospital.
Debra Hazlett told WAVY that her brother, among the injured taken to Norfolk General, called his family around 10:18 p.m. to inform them that he had been shot.
On Wednesday, Sentara Healthcare stated that two victims were in critical condition and another victim was in good condition.
Briana Tyler, an employee, told ABC News’ “Good Morning America” that she and her night-shift coworkers had congregated in the break room prior to beginning their shifts. That’s when their manager opened the door and “just opened fire.”
The shooter “wasn’t aiming at anybody specifically,” said Tyler. “He just literally started shooting throughout the entire break room, and I watched multiple people just drop down to the floor, where they were trying to duck for cover or they were hit.”
Tyler indicated that the shooter fired “directly at” her but had missed her head by “an inch or two.”
According to Tyler, the shooter “did not say a word.”
CPD Chief Solesky suggested that, even with the assailant’s house having been searched, police have not yet found a clear motive for the rampage.
An individual who appears to be a Walmart employee said in a Facebook livestream, “[the] manager shot a couple people here. … That man a coward for that, bro. You kill other people who ain’t do nothing to you? You soft. He’s lucky he blew his brains out.”
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The streamer added, “He blew his brains out and everything. He killed the girl in there and everything. He came in and started spraying. I’m sorry for the victims.”
Another witness told “10 On Your Side” that she believes the shooting was planned and that the shooter had targeted other managers at the Chesapeake Walmart. The witness also claimed that the shooter could be heard laughing at one moment during the carnage.
Chesapeake Mayor Rick West issued a statement, saying, “I am devastated by the senseless act of violence that took place late last night in our City. My prayers are with all those affected – the victims, their family, their friends, and their coworkers. I am grateful for the quick actions taken by our first responders who rushed to the scene.”
The mayor added that “Chesapeake is a tightknit community and we are all shake by this news. Together, we will support each other throughout this time. Please keep us in your prayers.”
Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) tweeted, “Our hearts break with the community of Chesapeake this morning. … Heinous acts of violence have no place in our communities.”
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Walmart released a statement, saying, “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.”