Virginia Walmart Shooting: Manager Opens Fire in Break Room, Kills 6 Before Turning Gun on Himself, Police Say
The gunman was an overnight manager at the Virginia Walmart store, police said, and he fatally shot himself as authorities arrived.
A Walmart manager in Virginia opened fire Tuesday night in the employee break room, killing six people and injuring at least four others before turning the gun on himself as the store was packed with holiday shoppers, police said.
Employee Briana Tyler told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that workers were gathered in a break room just before the start of their overnight shifts.
“I looked up, and my manager just opened the door and he just opened fire,” she said. "Multiple people” dropped to the floor, she added.
“He didn’t say a word, he didn’t say anything at all,” she said.
The shooter was identified as 31-year-old Andre Bing. Walmart said in a statement he was an overnight manager who started with the company in 2010.
He supervised workers as they unloaded pallets of merchandise, stocked shelves and cleaned the Supercenter, The New York Times reported.
Two former colleagues said Bing had covered his cellphone camera with tape, saying he suspected he was being watched by the government.
“He had an attitude,” said Nathan Sinclair, who was previously a manager on the shift before Bing's started. “He was kind of aggressive. There were moments where he was OK, but he was definitely hard to work with and a little hostile.”
Tuesday's Walmart attack is the 40th mass shooting of the year, according to a database maintained by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University. It came just three days after a person opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado, killing five people and wounding 17.
The Chesapeake store was crowded with shoppers stocking up before the Thanksgiving holiday, police said. Officers were dispatched to an active threat situation at the Walmart Supercenter at 10:12 p.m., police spokesperson Leo Kosinski told reporters at the scene.
When officers entered the retail outlet, they found the shooter dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“I am devastated by the senseless act of violence that took place late last night in our city,” said Mayor Rick West in a post Wednesday on the city's Twitter account. "Chesapeake is a tightknit community and we are all shaken by this news.”
The shooting was not the first time a gunman opened fire in a Walmart store.
Joetta Jeffery told CNN her mother was shopping in the Virginia Walmart on Wednesday, and she began sending text messages that shots had been fire. Her mom, Betsy Umphlett, was not injured, she said.
“I’m crying, I’m shaking,” Jeffery said. “I had just talked to her about buying turkeys for Thanksgiving, then this text came in.”
Walmart tweeted early Wednesday that it was “shocked at this tragic event.”
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, said on Twitter he was “sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake.”
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