November 27, 2022

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Thanksgiving marks the second full day of the investigation into a mass shooting at a Chesapeake Walmart that left six families without a loved one for the holiday.

Six crosses brought in Thursday by Hickory Towing workers and owner Matt Cilento now sit next to a growing memorial just outside the superstore.

“You never expect something like this to happen close to home,” Cilento said.

Each cross represents a Walmart employee fatally shot inside the store by a manager Tuesday night.

“Everybody in the city of Chesapeake is here to support them,” Cilento said. “You know, it’s not just their family and friends…. this affects everyone in the community.”

Matt Cilento

WTVR

Matt Cilento

That includes the first answer. Cilento, a former Chesapeake police officer, said you never shake something like that.

“I know some of these people personally, they don’t sleep at night,” Cilento said.

Dozens more people visited the site on Thanksgiving Day to pay their respects, bringing flowers, balloons and their prayers.

“I feel sad,” Lee Israel said. “What happened is … it’s a tragedy, man — and people need to stay prayed up.”

Victims of the Chesapeake, Virginia, Walmart mass shooting: Lorenzo Gamble, Brian Pendleton, Kellie Pyle, Randall Blevins and Tyneka Johnson.

WTVR through the City of Chesapeake

Victims of the Chesapeake, Virginia, Walmart mass shooting: Lorenzo Gamble, Brian Pendleton, Kellie Pyle, Randall Blevins and Tyneka Johnson.

It is not lost on Israel that the families of Lorenzo Gamble, 43, Brian Pendleton, 38, Kellie Pyle, 52, Randall Blevins, 70, Tyneka Johnson, 22, and a 16-year-old boy, who has not been identified because of his age, they miss their loved ones at the Thanksgiving dinner.

“It’s so sad that the victims can’t be with their families,” he said.

Poster image - 2022-11-24T172849.538.jpg

WTVR

Dr. Ogu Emejuru is thankful that his two friends who were inside the Walmart at the time of the shooting are OK.

“It was shocking,” he said. “I was worried.”

One of them is a store employee who escaped, he said.

“At first, a friend said he didn’t know what was going on,” Emejuru said. “He thought something had fallen in the store, but once he realized it was a gunshot, he ran.”

Cross Chesapeake, Virginia Walmart

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One man who came to see the scene said he was frustrated by how common gun violence seemed to be.

“It’s just a total disgrace,” he said. “We’ve normalized this to the point where it seems like we’re numb as a society.”

That man believes elected leaders have the power to make a change, but said they’ve let politics get in the way.

“We are a democracy,” he said. “We are the leaders of the free world. Why can’t we come together?”

The store will be closed for several days while detectives process the crime scene. Authorities said their investigation will likely take much longer. There is still limited information regarding a possible reason.

PHOTOS: Walmart manager opens fire in break room at Chesapeake store

The Walmart manager “filmed the whole room,” the woman says

A Walmart manager pulled out a gun before a routine employee meeting and opened fire in the break room of a Virginia store, killing six people in the nation’s second mass shooting in four days , police and witnesses said Wednesday.

The gunman was dead when officers arrived at the store in Chesapeake, Virginia’s second largest city, on Tuesday night. Authorities said it appears he shot himself. Police were trying to determine a motive. One employee described seeing “bodies falling” as the gunman fired randomly without saying a word.

“He just shot across the room. It didn’t matter who he hit. He didn’t say anything. He didn’t look at anybody a certain way,” said Briana Tyler, a Walmart employee.

Brianna Tyler

AP photo

Briana Tyler speaks to The Associated Press and uses her hands like a weapon as she demonstrates the gunman shooting indiscriminately as she talks about witnessing the mass shooting at a Walmart, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, in Chesapeake, Virginia . Tyler said the Overnight Storage Team of about 15 or 20 people had just gathered in the break room to go over the morning plan. As soon as the team was ready to start, she said she looked up and her manager turned and opened fire on the staff. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Six people were injured in the shooting, which happened just after 10 p.m. as shoppers stocked up before the Thanksgiving holiday. Police said they believe about 50 people were in the store at the time.

The gunman was identified as Andre Bing, 31, an overnight crew leader who had been a Walmart employee since 2010. Police said he had a handgun and several magazines of ammunition.

Tyler said the overnight storage team of 15 to 20 people had just gathered in the break room to go over the morning’s plan. She said the meeting was about to start and a team leader said, “Okay guys, we’ve got an easy night ahead of us.” Then Bing turned and opened fire on the staff.

At first, Tyler doubted the shooting was real, believing it was an active shooter drill.

“It all happened so fast,” she said, adding: “By the grace of God a bullet missed me. I saw the smoke coming out of the gun and I literally saw the bodies fall. It was crazy.”

Victims of the Chesapeake, Virginia, Walmart mass shooting: Lorenzo Gamble, Brian Pendleton, Kellie Pyle, Randall Blevins and Tyneka Johnson.

WTVR through the City of Chesapeake

Victims of the Chesapeake, Virginia, Walmart mass shooting: Lorenzo Gamble, Brian Pendleton, Kellie Pyle, Randall Blevins and Tyneka Johnson.

Police said three of the dead, including Bing, were found in the break room. One of the murdered victims was found near the front of the store. Three others were taken to hospitals where they died.

Tyler, who started working at Walmart two months ago and worked with Bing just one night earlier, said she’s never had a negative encounter with him, but others have told her he’s “the manager which must be overlooked”. She said Bing had a history of writing people up for no reason.

“He liked to choose, honestly. I think he just looked for small things… because he had the authority. That’s just the kind of person he was. That’s what a lot of people said about him,” she said.

UVA Tragedy Football Players Killed

UVA

The attack marked the second time in more than a week that Virginia has suffered a major shooting. Three University of Virginia football players were fatally shot on a charter bus while returning to campus from a field trip on November 13. Two other students were injured.

The attack at Walmart came days after a man opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, killing five people and wounding 17. Last spring, the country was rocked by the deaths of 21 people when a gunman stormed an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. .

The military on Tuesday night also brought to mind another attack on a Walmart in 2019, when a gunman targeting Mexicans opened fire at a store in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people.

Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for in-depth coverage of this important story. Anyone with more information can email [email protected] to submit a tip.

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