Six killed, at least five injured in Virginia Walmart mass shooting
A Walmart employee in Chesapeake, Virginia, opened fire in a cafeteria, killing six people and injuring at least five others.
Ariana Triggs, TODAY USA
Walmart on Wednesday identified the store manager who, according to police, opened fire at a store in Chesapeake, Virginia, killing six people and injuring at least six.
The gunman, identified by the company as Andre Bing, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky said. A firearm was recovered at the scene.
Solesky said the first 911 call came in at 10:12 p.m. local time on Tuesday, and the first officers arrived two minutes later. Authorities said there was no apparent motive for the shooting.
Walmart will “continue to cooperate with local law enforcement as they continue their investigation,” said Robert Arrieta, a company spokesman.
The shooting comes amid a wave of deadly gun violence in the US and was the second major shooting in Virginia in just over a week. It was also the second high-profile mass shooting in the US in less than a week after Club Q, a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, was attacked by a gunman.
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“The devastating news of last night’s shooting at our store in Chesapeake, VA at the hands of one of our employees has hit our Walmart family hard. My heart aches for our employees and the Chesapeake community who have lost or injured loved ones. We are here for them today and in the challenging days ahead, they will have our support,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillion wrote on LinkedIn on Wednesday.
“We appreciate all of our employees, first responders and local officials already on the scene to provide support as we work together to navigate this tragedy,” he added.
Who was the shooter in the Walmart shooting in Chesapeake, Virginia?
Walmart said Andre Bing, 31, was a “team leader” who had worked for the company since 2010. Bing was a night team leader, the Richmond news station WTVR reported. A search of local and state courts turned up no previous criminal charges against Bing. USA TODAY couldn’t find any social media pages for him either.
The city of Chesapeake said in a press release that detectives are working to learn more about Bing and his motive. In the release, the city said the Chesapeake SWAT team “executed a search warrant of the suspect’s residence and, with the help of the Virginia State Police, cleared the house.”
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Employee Briana Tyler, who started working at Walmart two months ago, said she never had a negative encounter with Bing, but others told her he was “the manager to watch out for.” She said Bing had a history of writing people up for no reason.
And Shaundrayia Reese, an associate who previously worked with Bing, told The New York Times, “Everyone called him weird.”
The Times reported that other colleagues said Bing had covered his mobile phone’s camera for fear that the government was watching him.
What happened in the Virginia Walmart shooting?
Tyler said the shooting happened after the night stocking team — about 15 to 20 people — gathered in the break room to go over the morning plan.
The meeting was about to begin and a team leader made a comment about a “bright night ahead.”
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FBI searches home of suspect in Walmart shooting that killed six. (AP video by Nathan Ellgren) (November 23)
That’s when Bing, another team leader, turned and opened fire on the staff, Tyler said.
A press release from the city of Chesapeake on Wednesday says Bing was armed with “one pistol and several magazines. It said he was “dressed in civilian clothes and not wearing any type of armor or ballistic vest.”
“It’s by the grace of God a bullet missed me,” said Tyler. “I saw the smoke coming out of the gun and I literally saw bodies falling. It was crazy.”
According to the municipality, there were about 50 people in the store at the time of the shooting.
Who were the victims?
Authorities released the names of the dead on Wednesday. Walmart said all the dead were employees.
Police said the dead included a 16-year-old boy whose name was not released due to his age.
The other victims were identified as Brian Pendleton, 38; Kelly Pyle, 52; Lorenzo Gambling, 43; and Randy Blevins, 70, who were all from Chesapeake; and Tyneka Johnson, 22, from nearby Portsmouth.
Contributions: Gina Barton, The Associated Press