November 28, 2022

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — A gunman opened fire in a Virginia Walmart late Tuesday, leaving six people dead, police said, in the nation’s second high-profile mass killing in as many days. The attacker is also dead.

The Chesapeake store is now safe and will likely be closed for several days while the investigation is conducted, Officer Leo Kosinski said early Wednesday.

It was unclear who the shooter was or what their motive might be.

“I am devastated by the senseless act of violence that occurred late at night in our city,” Mayor Rick W. West said in a statement posted on the city’s Twitter account. “Chesapeake is a close-knit community and we are all shaken by this news.”

A database run by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University that tracks every mass killing in America since 2006 shows that this year has been particularly bad. The United States has now had 40 mass killings so far this year, second only to 45 for all of 2019. The database defines a mass killing as at least four people killed, not including the killer .

The Walmart attack came three days after a man opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado, killing five people and wounding 17. Earlier in the year, the country was rocked by the deaths of 21 people when an armed man stormed a primary school in Uvalde. , Texas.

Tuesday’s shooting also brought back memories of another Walmart store in 2019, when a gunman who police said was targeting Mexicans opened fire in a store in El Paso, Texas, killing 22. of people.

Kosinski said he could not say how the shooter died, but that he does not believe police fired shots.

The shooting reportedly stopped when police arrived at the store in Chesapeake, which is Virginia’s second-largest city and is near the seaside communities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

Mike Kafka, a spokesman for Sentara Healthcare, said in a text message that five Walmart patients were being treated at Norfolk General Hospital. Their conditions were not immediately available.

Walmart tweeted Wednesday morning that it was “shocked by this tragic event.”

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner said in a tweet that he was “outraged by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake.”

State Sen. Louise Lucas echoed Warner’s sentiment, tweeting that she was “absolutely heartbroken that America’s latest mass shooting happened in a Walmart in my district.”

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