Walmart supervisor opens fire on Virginia co-workers, killing 6 and himself

CHESAPEAKE, Va., Nov 23 (Reuters) – A Walmart supervisor armed with a handgun and several magazines of ammunition opened fire on co-workers at a Virginia store, killing six people, before turning the gun on himself in a break room, witnesses and police. said Wednesday.

The country’s latest mass shooting Tuesday night rocked the city of Chesapeake, about 200 miles (320 km) south of Washington, and comes on the heels of last weekend’s massacre in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where a gunman killed five at an LBGTQ nightclub.

The Virginia gunman, identified as Andre Bing, 31, of Chesapeake, said nothing when he began shooting at workers gathered before their night shift, according to two employees who were in the break room where the rampage ended and Bing shot himself .

“I just watched 3 of my colleagues/friends get killed in front of me,” Donya Prioleau wrote in a Facebook post. “Others killed them in cold blood … I don’t see what happened in that break room.”

Police said at least three people were wounded in the attack, which occurred while about 50 people were inside the store, a cavernous Walmart Supercenter just off Battlefield Boulevard in Chesapeake, a city of about 250,000 people.

The dead included a 16-year-old boy, whom police did not identify, and 70-year-old Randy Blevins, who planned to retire within a year, a cousin wrote on Facebook.

Also Read :  Toronto market seen higher if economic downturn not too severe

The others were Kellie Pyle, 52, Lorenzo Gamble, 43, and Randy Blevins, 70, all of Chesapeake, and Tyneka Johnson, 22, of neighboring Portsmouth.

Authorities say they were investigating what might have motivated Bing, an hourly employee who supervised a night shift and had worked for the company since 2010. The city said its SWAT team had executed a search warrant at his house.

“I looked up and my manager just opened the door and he just opened fire,” another Walmart employee, Briana Tyler, told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Several colleagues of Bing told CNN that he had exhibited strange and sometimes threatening behavior in the past. He also made paranoid comments and expressed concern that the government was monitoring him, according to CNN interviews.

Jessie Wilczewski told WAVY-TV she hid under a table and the shooter pointed the gun at her and told her to go home.

“It didn’t even look real until you could feel the pow-pow-pow. You can feel it,” the store employee said. “I couldn’t hear it at first because I think it was so loud. I could feel it.”

‘ANOTHER ONE…’

The latest massacre prompted a renewed round of condemnations from public officials and activist calls for tighter gun control.

President Joe Biden called the shooting “another horrific and senseless act of violence,” noting a shooting this month that killed three University of Virginia students.

“There are now even more tables across the country that will have empty seats this Thanksgiving,” Biden said in a statement.

The United States averages two mass shootings per day, when defined as an incident that kills or injures four or more people, according to GunViolenceArchive.org.

Jessica Burgess, a surgeon treating victims at a hospital in Norfolk, said she had contacted a colleague in Colorado Springs just two days earlier to offer support.

“So it’s very disheartening that I’m now in the same position with my colleagues from all over the country checking in on me and my team,” Burgess said. “Sometimes there’s only so much we can do when the damage is already done.”

Also Read :  Republicans favored to win U.S. House in close-fought midterm elections

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, already facing heightened calls for policies to address gun violence after the killings at the University of Virginia, ordered flags at local, state and federal buildings to fly at half-staff.

Walmart, which has thousands of stores across the country, has been hit by gun violence in the past.

In August 2019, 23 people were killed at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, near the US-Mexico border in an act described as domestic terrorism by law enforcement. It was also the deadliest attack on the Hispanic community in the United States in modern times.

Walmart imposed new restrictions on the sale of guns and ammunition after the 2019 shooting, as it had done after other shootings at its stores.

“The devastating news of yesterday’s shooting at our Chesapeake, VA store at the hands of one of our employees has hit our Walmart family hard,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon wrote in a LinkedIn post.

Reporting by Rich McKay, Susan Heavey, Siddharth Cavale, Bharat Govind Gautam, Abinaya Vijayaraghavan and Shubham Kalia; Additional reporting by Juby Babu; Editing by Gareth Jones, Mark Porter, Bill Berkrot and Deepa Babington

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Back to top button