Six people killed by employee in Chesapeake, Virginia, Walmart shooting, police say; suspect also dead

An employee at a Walmart store in Chesapeake, Virginia, opened fire on colleagues Tuesday evening, killing six people at the retail store and wounding four others, city police chief Mark Soleski said Wednesday morning.

Chesapeake police spokesman Leo Kosinski told reporters at the scene Tuesday evening that officers were dispatched to an active threat situation at the Walmart Supercenter at 10:12 p.m. local time. Soleski said officers were on the scene within two minutes, entered the store two minutes after that, and within about an hour they had cleared the store and found all of the victims.

A police vehicle is parked outside a Walmart store following a mass shooting that left seven people, including the suspect, dead on the morning of November 23, 2022 in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Nicole Saganga / CBS News

The suspect was also found dead and police were not looking for anyone else in connection with the shooting.

Soleski said the suspected employee was found dead of a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound. He said that a pistol was used in the firing. According to the police chief, the suspect has not been identified pending notification of his next of kin.

The FBI office in Norfolk, Virginia, confirmed that the agency was providing assistance to the Chesapeake Police Department, which was the lead agency in the investigation.

Soleski said four other victims were still being treated at area hospitals Wednesday morning, but the nature and extent of their injuries was not clear.

walmart mass shooting
Law enforcement, including the FBI, work at the scene of a mass shooting at a Walmart on November 23, 2022 in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Alex Brandon/AP

Kosinksee said Tuesday evening that the shooting occurred inside the store, although at least one body was found outside. According to Walmart’s website, the store was open to customers at the time of the shooting.

A man who identified himself as a shoplifter described the scene in a cellphone video, CBS News chief national affairs and justice correspondent Jeff Peggs reported.

Jeromy Basham said, “We heard several shots inside … and everyone ran away.” “There was one person down there who is still down in front.”

Another man said in a video that he was among the Walmart employees inside the store when the shooting began, Pegues reports.

Kevin Harper said, “I literally walked out of the break room, didn’t I? And as soon as, probably, no more than five minutes later” the gunshots were heard.

Chesapeake Mayor Rick West issued a statement Wednesday morning, saying he was “devastated by the senseless act of violence” and commended first responders.

West told CBS News that thinking about how to respond to mass shootings has become part of the job of city leaders across the country.

West said, “The first feeling was nothing but fear because it was here I knew what we would have to face and what those poor families would have to go through in the years to come.”

Chesapeake is located in the coastal Hampton Roads region of southern Virginia, which includes the cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

Kosinksey said a “reunion site” was set up at the Chesapeake convention center, which a city Twitter account said was “for immediate family members or emergency contacts of people who may be in the building.”

The incident was the second major mass shooting in the US in the last few days. five people were killed and another 17 were injured When a suspect opened fire at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, early Sunday morning.

“I’m saddened by the news of another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake,” said Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia. Tweeted early Wednesday morning.

Glenn Youngkin, the new Republican governor of Virginia, also supported, Saying: “Our hearts break with the community of Chesapeake this morning,” in a tweet, adding that “heinous acts of violence have no place in our communities.”

Walmart released a statement saying the company was “shocked by this tragic incident” and “prayers are with those affected, the community and our partners.”

The retail giant said it is “working closely with law enforcement, and we are focused on supporting our partners.”

Virginia State Senator Lewis Lucas, a Democrat who represents the Chesapeake Region, which includes Chesapeake, said in a tweet that she was “heartbroken that America’s latest mass shooting happened at a Walmart in my district.”

“I will not rest until we find a solution to end this epidemic of gun violence in our country that has taken so many lives,” she said.

“Sadly, our community suffers yet another incident of senseless gun violence just as families are gathering for Thanksgiving,” said U.S. Representative Bobby Scott of Virginia.

There have been more than 600 mass shootings in the United States this year, with at least 36 deaths, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive.

Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston who has compiled US shooting statistics for decades, reported the same figure, which he said predicted 2022, even before the Walmart incident in Chesapeake. Had made a record year for attacks. ,

“I have been studying mass murders for more than 40 years and I am convinced that there has never been a year where we have had so many,” Fox said in an article published Monday by Northeastern in the wake of the Colorado shooting. . ,

Fox noted “an unprecedented surge” since the beginning of October alone, during which he said there had been 13 fatal mass shootings.

“That’s an average of about two mass shootings per week,” Fox said.

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