The manager of a Virginia Walmart who killed six people and himself and injured others in a massacre Tuesday night has been identified as Andre Bing, 31 years oldthe city of Chesapeake SAPS on Twitter.
“He was armed with a single handgun and had several magazines on him,” the city said.
Bing was an “overnight team leader” and had been employed at Walmart since 2010, the company said in a statement.
Authorities were working Wednesday to identify other witnesses to the violence and were also looking into the shooter’s background for information about what might have motivated the attack, police said in a news release.
At least 50 people were inside the Walmart when the violence erupted, police said. Some of them began to publicly share their accounts of how a calm night turned into a horrifying tragedy.
The violence marks yet another mass shooting in a place traditionally considered safe — from schools to hospitals to stores.
Just 270 miles west of Chesapeake, a 22-year-old student at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville allegedly opened fire on fellow students this month, killing three of them on a bus returning to campus from a trip to Washington , DC.
Last weekend, a 22-year-old man shot and killed five people at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo., and injured 19 others, authorities said.
The U.S. has suffered more than 600 mass shootings so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Both the nonprofit and CNN define mass shootings as those in which four or more people are shot, not including the shooter.
Suspect walked in and ‘just started spraying’
The deadly rampage happened around 10:12 p.m. Tuesday, less than an hour before the Walmart Supercenter closed.
Employee Kevin Harper said a co-worker walked into the break room and started shooting.
“We just put the rest room aside … (the pulmar) is starting to get people in there,” Harper said in a Facebook Live video. The video is no longer on his Facebook page, but has been re-shared on social media.
“He went in there and just started spraying,” Harper said. “I feel sorry for the victims.”
Four people injured in the shooting remained hospitalized Wednesday morning, Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky said. At least two were in critical condition, said Dr. Michael Hooper, vice president and chief medical officer at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
Investigators swept the store overnight into Wednesday, looking for victims or people who may have been hiding, Chesapeake police said.
“Three people, including the shooter, were located deceased in the break room of the store,” the city of Chesapeake said. he posted on Twitter. “A victim was found dead in front of the store. Three other victims were transported to local hospitals for further treatment but succumbed to their injuries.”
“This is particularly painful”
Joetta Jeffery said her mother, Betsy Umphlett, texted her from inside the store saying bullets were flying.
“I’m crying, I’m shaking,” Jeffery told CNN. “I was just talking to her about buying turkeys for Thanksgiving, and then this text came in.”
Jeffery said her mother is not injured but traumatized by the tragedy.
A reunification center has been set up at the Chesapeake Conference Center for families seeking details about loved ones who were at the store. Municipal authorities have requested that only relatives or emergency contacts of those inside visit the center.
John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart USA, said the mass shooting in Chesapeake was exceptionally tragic because the attacker was an employee.
“We feel tragedies like these personally and deeply. But this one is especially painful because we learned the gunman was a Walmart associate,” Furner said in a statement. “The entire Walmart family is heartbroken. Our hearts and prayers go out to those affected and we are grateful for the actions of first responders.”
The Norfolk Division of the FBI said the agency is assisting the Chesapeake Police Department in the investigation.
Authorities are asking anyone with information about the shooting to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.
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