Chesapeake, Virginia — Walmart Supervisor JoeAn eyewitness who was present at the time of the shooting said that people were targeted and some of the victims were shot when they were already injured and appeared to be dead. Jessica Wilczewski said the employees were gathered in a store break room late Tuesday to begin their overnight shifts when team leader Andre Bing entered and opened fire with a handgun. While another witness described Bing as shooting wildly, Wilczewski said she saw him aim at a few people.
“The way he was acting — he was going hunting,” Wilczewski told The Associated Press on Thursday. “The way he was looking at people’s faces and the way he did it, he was picking people out.”
He said that he saw him firing at people who were already on the ground.
“What I do know is that he made sure everyone he wanted dead was dead,” she said. “He went back and shot the bodies that were already dead. That’s for sure.”
Wilczewski said she had only worked at the store for five days and did not know who Bing was with or that he was having problems. She said that being a new employee may have spared her.
She said that after the shooting began, a co-worker sitting next to her pulled her under a table to hide. She said that at one point Bing asked her to get out from under the table. But when she saw who he was, he told her, “Jesse, go home.” She said that she got up slowly and then ran out of the store.
Police are trying to determine a motive while former co-workers struggle to understand the rampage in Chesapeake, a city of about 250,000 people near the coast of Virginia.
CBS News correspondent Jeff Peggs reported Thursday that the gunman’s work over the past few weeks may offer some insight into why he lashed out, as multiple reports say he has notes on his phone in which he discussed his job and his co-workers. complained about.
Some of those who worked with Bing, 31, said he had a reputation for being an aggressive supervisor, if not hostile, who once admitted to having “anger issues.” But he could also make people laugh and seemed to be dealing with the normal stress of work that many people go through.
“I don’t think he had a lot of people to lean on in his personal life,” said Nathan Sinclair, who worked at Walmart earlier this month.
During chats among co-workers, “we’d be like ‘Work is eating up my life.’ And (Bing) would be like, ‘Yeah, I don’t have a social life anyway,'” Sinclair recalled Thursday.
Sinclair said that she and Bing were not getting along. Sinclair said that Bing was known to be “verbally hostile” to employees and was not particularly well-liked. But Bing was mocked at times and not necessarily treated fairly.
Sinclair said, “There’s no telling what he was thinking. … You never know really if someone doesn’t have some sort of support group.”
On balance, Bing seemed pretty normal to Janice Strasberg, who knew him from working at Walmart for 13 years before leaving in June.
Bing can be “grumpy” but also “calm”, she said. He made people laugh and told Strasberg that he liked to dance. When he invites her to church, she declines but mentions that her mother had been a preacher.
Strasberg thought that Bing’s short temper was due to the stresses that come with any job. He also once told her that he had “anger issues” and complained that he was going to “get the managers in trouble”.
He never expected this.
“I think he had a mental problem,” Strausberg said Thursday. “What else could it be?”
Tuesday night’s violence in Chesapeake was the nation’s second high-profile mass shooting in four days. By the time officers arrived at the store in the state’s second largest city, Bing was dead. Authorities said he apparently shot himself.
Police identified the victims as Brian Pendleton, 38; Kelly Pyle, 52; Lorenzo Gamble, 43; and Randy Blevins, 70, who were all from Chesapeake; and Tyneka Johnson, 22, of nearby Portsmouth. Police said the dead included a 16-year-old boy, whose name was withheld because of his age.
A Walmart spokesperson confirmed in an email that all of the victims worked for the company.
Crystal Kawabata, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s regional office in Norfolk, Virginia, confirmed that the agency was assisting police in the investigation, but directed all inquiries to the Chesapeake Police Department, the lead investigative agency.
Another Walmart employee, Brianna Tyler, has said that Bing appeared to fire at random.
“He was just shooting across the room. It didn’t matter who he hit,” Tyler told the AP on Wednesday.
Six people were also injured in the shooting, which happened just after 10 p.m. as shoppers were stocking up ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Police said they believe there were about 50 people in the shop at the time.
Bing was identified overnight as the team leader, who had been a Walmart employee since 2010. Police said he was carrying a handgun and several magazines of ammunition.
Tyler said that an overnight stocking team of 15 to 20 people gathered in the break room to work on the morning’s plan. Tyler and Wiczewski said another team leader began speaking when Bing entered the room and opened fire.
Tyler, who started working at Walmart two months ago and had worked with Bing the night before, said she never had a negative encounter with him, but others told her to “watch out.” was the manager”. He said Bing has a history of texting people for no reason.
It was the second major shooting in Virginia this month. threeOn 13 November in a bus as he returned from a field trip. Two other students were injured.
walmart shooting also follows days after a personColorado – Five killed and 17 injured. Tuesday night’s shooting brought back memories of another attack at Walmart in 2019, when a Texas.
Wilczewski said she tried but couldn’t bring herself to go to a memorial in the store’s parking lot on Wednesday.
“I wrote a letter and I wanted to put it out there,” she said. “I wrote to the people I saw dying. And I said I’m sorry I wasn’t louder. I’m sorry you couldn’t feel my touch. But you weren’t alone.”
There have been more than 600 mass shootings in the United States this year, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, including at least 36 incidents that resulted in four or more deaths.
Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston who has compiled shooting statistics in the US for decades, reported the same figure, which he said showed similar attacks even before the incident at the Walmart in Chesapeake. Had made 2022 a record year for this. ,
“I have been studying mass killings for more than 40 years and I am convinced that there has never been a year where we have had this many incidents,” Fox said in an article published Monday by Northeastern in the wake of the Colorado shooting. . ,