CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Law enforcement in Chesapeake are trying to figure out what exactly led up to a man shooting and killing 6 people at a Walmart and injuring others before taking his own life Tuesday night. According to the Associated Press, it was the nation's second high-profile mass shooting in just four days.
Late that night, first responders were called to the Walmart on Sam's Circle where they discovered the victims and the shooter.
City and Walmart officials identified the suspected shooter as Andre Bing, a store employee. He was armed with one handgun and had multiple magazines on him. Authorities found him dead when from a self-inflicted gunshot wound when they arrived on scene. He had worked at the store since 2010.
"We are truly saddened at the tragedy that took place in our community last night," Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky said during a press conference Wednesday morning. "We are all praying for the family and coworkers of everyone who was affected by this senseless violence."
A witness said the suspected shooter fired on fellow employees gathered in the break room, according to the Associated Press.
“He was just shooting all throughout the room. It didn’t matter who he hit. He didn’t say anything. He didn’t look at anybody in any specific type of way," Briana Tyler, a Walmart employee, told the Associated Press.
Later in the day Wednesday, city officials provided another update, identifying the victims as Lorenzo Gamble, 43, of Chesapeake; Randy Blevins, 70, of Chesapeake; Brian Pendleton, 38, of Chesapeake; Kellie Pyle, 52, of Chesapeake; and Tyneka Johnson, 22, of Portsmouth. Officials did not immediately identify a 16-year-old Chesapeake boy who also died in the shooting since he was a minor, but released his name as Fernando Chavez-Barron, following a Thursday night vigil.
Officials said seven other people had to go to the hospital with injuries. Three had gunshot wounds, and four other people had other injuries that were not gunshot-related.
Police are still trying to account for anyone who may have been at the store and witnessed the incident, but fled prior to police arrival. At this time, anyone with information may submit it to the FBI hotline, 1-800-CALLFBI.
Walmart released the follow comment about the shooting:
“While details of the tragic incident in our Chesapeake, Virginia store are still emerging, authorities have confirmed multiple fatalities. We are focused on doing everything we can to support our associates and their families at this time. The alleged shooter has been identified as Andre Bing. We can confirm that he was a Walmart associate. Andre’s position with the company was overnight team lead and he’s been employed with us since 2010. We are thankful for the local first responders and will continue to work with local law enforcement as they continue their investigation.”
Statement from a Walmart spokesperson
President Joe Biden commented, as well, sharing his condolences.
Governor Glenn Younkin also released a statement:
Our hearts break with the community of Chesapeake this morning. I remain in contact with law enforcement officials throughout this morning and have made available any resources as this investigation moves forward. Heinous acts of violence have no place in our communities.— Governor Glenn Youngkin (@GovernorVA) November 23, 2022
Chesapeake's mayor tweeted the following statement:
A message from Chesapeake Mayor Rick West. pic.twitter.com/YqCW98S8lO— City of Chesapeake (@AboutChesapeake) November 23, 2022
Sen. Mark Warner tweeted about the shooting early Wednesday morning.
Sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake. I’ll be monitoring developments closely.
In the meantime, I urge all those in the community to listen to guidance from local law enforcement and stay away from the scene.
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) November 23, 2022
Sen. Louise Lucas also sent her thoughts about the shooting.
I am absolutely heartbroken that America’s latest mass shooting took place in a Walmart in my district in Chesapeake, Virginia tonight. I will not rest until we find the solutions to end this gun violence epidemic in our country that has taken so many lives.
— L. Louise Lucas (@SenLouiseLucas) November 23, 2022
Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears' statement:
Our hearts break for the victims in Chesapeake and the families who've lost loved ones in another senseless act of violence.— Lt. Governor of Virginia - Winsome Earle-Sears (@WinsomeSears) November 23, 2022
Praying for our Commonwealth.
Below is an interview with Norfolk's former police chief with an analysis of how law enforcement responded Tuesday night.