CHESAPEAKE, Va., Nov 23 (Reuters) – A Walmart Inc ( WMT.N ) store manager in Virginia opened fire on his colleagues in a restroom, killing six before turning the gun on himself, witnesses said on Wednesday after the latest shooting. very much in this country.
The gunman, identified as Andre Bing, 31, of Chesapeake, Virginia, said nothing when he opened fire on workers who had gathered late Tuesday before starting their night shift, according to two workers in the break room.
“I just saw three of my friends/friends killed in front of me,” Donya Prioleau wrote on Facebook. “Andre killed them in cold blood… I don’t see what happened in the break room.”
Four more people were injured in the attack, while about 50 people were inside the store.
Authorities say they are still investigating what may have motivated Bing, who came away with one handgun and several ammunition magazines. The city said its SWAT team served a search warrant at his home.
“Police are working to learn more about the shooter’s background and what may have led to the shooting,” the city said in a statement.
Another Walmart employee, Briana Tyler, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that: “I looked up and my manager just opened the door and just opened fire.”
Several Bing employees told CNN that they have experienced strange and sometimes threatening behavior in the past. He also spoke out in shock, expressing concern about government surveillance, according to an interview with CNN.
Coming on the heels of the shooting of five people at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub on Saturday, the latest killings have prompted further criticism from local authorities and calls from gun control activists.
US President Joe Biden on Wednesday called the shooting “another horrific and senseless attack,” referring to the shooting earlier this month that left three University of Virginia students dead.
“There are now more and more tables across the country that will be empty this Thanksgiving,” he said in a statement.
Bing has worked for the company since 2010, most recently as the night team leader at the Walmart Supercenter off Battlefield Boulevard in Chesapeake, a city of about 250,000 people south of Norfolk.
Jessie Wilczewski told WAVY-TV that she hid under a table and the shooter pointed a gun at her and told her to go home.
“It didn’t seem real until you heard the pow-pow-pow. You could feel it,” the store employee said. “I didn’t hear it at first because I thought it was too loud. I could hear it.”
Tuesday’s bloodshed marked the latest spike in gun violence in the United States, where nearly two mass shootings — defined as killing or injuring four or more people — occur each day, according to GunViolenceArchive.org.
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, who had previously faced calls to enact policies to combat gun violence after the University of Virginia massacre, ordered the flags to be flown at local, state and federal buildings.
Kimberly Shupe told WAVY-TV that her son Jalon Jones, 24, was stable after being shot in the ear and back. He told her that during the night meeting her boss was acting “strange” and “then he started shooting,” she told reporters.
Dr. Jessica Burgess, a surgeon who treated the injured at a Norfolk hospital, said she contacted a colleague in Colorado Springs just two days ago for help.
“So it’s really frustrating that I’m now in the same place with friends from all over the country looking for me and my team,” Burgess said. “Sometimes there’s only so much we can do when the injury has already happened.”
This is not the first mass shooting at Walmart, which has thousands of stores across the country.
In August 2019, 23 people were killed in a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas near the US-Mexico border in what police described as domestic terrorism. It was also the worst Spanish attack in the United States today.
Walmart imposed new restrictions on the sale of guns and ammunition after the 2019 shooting, as it has done in previous shootings at its stores.
“The tragic news of the shooting at our Chesapeake, VA store last night at the hands of one of our associates has deeply affected our Walmart family,” Walmart Chief Executive Doug McMillon wrote in a LinkedIn post Wednesday.
Reporting by Rich McKay, Susan Heavey, Siddharth Cavale, Bharat Govind Gautam, Abinaya Vijayaraghavan and Shubham Kalia; Additional reports by Juby Babu; Edited by Gareth Jones, Mark Porter and Bill Berkrot
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