CHESAPEAKE, Va., Nov 23 (Reuters) – A manager at a Walmart Inc store. (WMT.N) in Virginia entered a break room and shot fellow employees before turning the gun on himself, a witness said Wednesday, and leaving. a total of seven dead in the most recent mass shooting in the United States.
The gunman, identified as Andre Bing, 31, of Chesapeake, Virginia, said nothing as he opened fire on workers gathered before their shift late Tuesday, Walmart employee Briana Tyler told “Good Morning America” by ABC.
“I looked up and my manager just opened the door and he just opened fire,” Tyler said. “He didn’t say a word. He didn’t even say anything.”
At least four people were injured in the shooting, Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky said at a news conference. He did not disclose a possible motive for the shooting, but said the suspect died of a single gunshot wound.
Bing was armed with a gun and was carrying several magazines of ammunition, according to a tweet from Chesapeake, a city of about 250,000 people south of Norfolk.
Coming on the heels of the killing of five people at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub on Saturday, the latest massacre has prompted renewed condemnation by public officials and calls by activists for stricter gun control.
US President Joe Biden on Wednesday called the shooting “another horrific and senseless act of violence,” pledging any federal resources needed to help the investigation.
“There are now more tables across the country that will have empty seats this Thanksgiving,” he said in a statement, citing a shooting earlier this month that left three University of Virginia students dead. . “We need to take greater action.”
Bing has worked at the company since 2010, most recently as an overnight team leader at the cavernous Walmart Supercenter near Battlefield Boulevard in Chesapeake.
“The Battlefield Walmart just got shot by one of my managers. He killed a couple of people. By the grace of God I made it,” another employee, Kevin Harper, told CBS.
Jessie Wilczewski told WAVY-TV that he hid under a table and pointed a gun at her and told her to go home.
“It doesn’t even seem real until you feel the pow-pow-pow. You will,” the store employee said. “I didn’t hear it at first because it was too strong. I can feel it.”
Tuesday’s bloodshed marked the latest spasm of gun violence in the United States, where an average of two mass shootings — defined as an incident that kills or injures four or more people — occurs every day. , according to GunViolenceArchive.org.
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, already facing heightened calls for policies to address gun violence in the wake of the University of Virginia killings, ordered the flags at local, state and federal building to be flown to half staff.
“Heinous acts of violence have no place in our communities,” Youngkin wrote on Twitter.
This is not the first mass shooting at a Walmart, which has thousands of stores across the country.
At a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, in August 2019, 23 people were killed in a mass shooting near the US-Mexico border in an act described as domestic terrorism by law enforcement. It is also the deadliest attack on the Hispanic community in modern times. Patrick Wood Crusius, then 21, from Allen, Texas, was arrested in the shooting and left a manifesto with white nationalist and anti-immigrant themes.
“The devastating news of last night’s shooting at our Chesapeake, VA store at the hands of one of our associates hit our Walmart family hard,” Walmart Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon wrote in a LinkedIn post on Wednesday. “We are here for them now and in the challenging days ahead they will have our support.”
Reporting by Rich McKay, Susan Heavey, Bharat Govind Gautam, Abinaya Vijayaraghavan and Shubham Kalia; Additional reporting by Juby Babu; Editing by Gerry Doyle, Nick Macfie, Gareth Jones and Mark Porter
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