An employee at a Walmart store in Chesapeake, Virginia, opened fire on co-workers Tuesday night, killing six and leaving four inside the retail store, Chesapeake, Virginia Police Chief Mark Solsky said Wednesday morning. Injured, then shot himself.
At 10:12 p.m. local time, officers were called to an active threat situation at the Walmart supercenter, Chesapeake Police spokesman Leo Kosinski told reporters at the scene Tuesday night. Police were on the scene within two minutes, entered the store two minutes later, and within about an hour, they cleared the store and located all the victims, Solesky said.
The suspect was also found dead, and police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the shooting.
The suspected employee was found dead from a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound, Solesky said. He said a pistol was used in the shooting. The suspect has not been identified and is awaiting notification from next of kin, according to the police chief.
The FBI’s Norfolk, Virginia, office confirmed that the agency is providing assistance to the Chesapeake Police Department, which is leading the investigation.
Four other victims remained in area hospitals Wednesday morning, but the nature and extent of their injuries were unclear, Solesky said.
Kosinksi said Tuesday night that the shooting took place inside the store, though at least one body was found outside. According to the Walmart website, the store was open to customers at the time of the shooting.
A man claiming to be a shopper described the scene in cellphone video, CBS News chief state affairs and justice correspondent Jeff Peggs reports.
“We heard a few shots inside … and we all ran out,” Jerome Basham said. “There is one person still ahead.”
Another man said in a video that he was one of the Walmart employees in the store when the shooting began, Peggs reported.
Kevin Harper said: “I literally walked out of the break room, right? And probably about five minutes later” there were gunshots.
Chesapeake Mayor Rick West issue a statement Early Wednesday morning said he was “devastated by the senseless violence” and praised first responders.
West told CBS News that thinking about how to respond to mass shootings has become part of the leadership effort in cities across the country.
“The first feeling is nothing but fear because it’s here and I know what we’re going to have to deal with and what these poor families are going to deal with in the next few years,” West said.
Chesapeake is located in the coastal Hampton Roads region of southern Virginia, which includes the cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
Kosinksi said a “unified site” was set up at the Chesapeake Convention Center, which a city Twitter account described as “for emergency contacts of immediate family members or people who may be in the building.”
The incident was the second mass shooting in the United States in recent days.Five peopleA suspect opened fire at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado early Sunday morning.
“Disgusted by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Chesapeake Walmart,” said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. tweets Wednesday morning.
Glenn Youngkin, the new Republican governor of Virginia, also weighed in, Say: “Our hearts are broken with the Chesapeake community this morning,” in a tweet, adding that “heinous acts of violence have no place in our community.”
Walmart issued a statement saying the company was “devastated by this tragic incident” and “praying for the people affected, the community and our associates.”
The retail giant said it “is working closely with law enforcement as we focus on supporting our employees.”
Senator Louise Lucas of Virginia, a Democrat representing the Chesapeake area, said in a tweet that she was “heartbroken that the most recent mass shooting in the US happened at a Walmart in my area.” .
“I won’t rest until we find a solution to end our nation’s gun violence epidemic,” she said.
U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia said, “Sadly, just as families gather for Thanksgiving, yet another incident of senseless gun violence occurs in our community.”
According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been more than 600 mass shootings in the United States this year, with at least 36 deaths.
Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston who has been collecting data on U.S. shootings for decades, reported the same numbers, saying that even before the Chesapeake Walmart incident, 2022 It has also been a record year for such attacks.
“I’ve been studying mass killings for more than 40 years, and I’m very confident that we’ve never had a year with so many,” Fox said in an essay published Monday by Northeastern University after the Colorado shooting. .
Fox pointed to an “unprecedented surge” since early October alone, a period he said saw 13 deadly mass shootings.
“That’s an average of about two mass shootings per week,” Fox said.