Virginia’s Chesapeake is – Flags in Virginia were lowered to half-mast on Wednesday, hours after a Walmart store manager opened fire at a staff meeting, murdering six people and spreading a wave of deadly gun violence across the country.
Leo Kosinski, a spokesperson for the Chesapeake Police Department, said that when officers responded to a 911 call on Tuesday night, they discovered multiple persons who were injured or hiding inside the business. Rescue and tactical teams raced through, offering “life-saving measures.”
According to city officials, at least six survivors were sent to nearby hospitals, one of whom was in severe condition. According to officials, there were 50 customers in the business when the attack occurred. Nobody who was killed or injured has been identified by the authorities as a customer.
- Forget About Jail and Emergency Rooms Another Mental Health Alternative is on the Way in S.l. County
- Deputy From Salt Lake County Uses Car to Promote Need for Kidney Donor
Police have named the deceased as Tyneka Johnson, 22, of nearby Portsmouth, along with Chesapeake residents Brian Pendleton, 38, Kellie Pyle, 52, Lorenzo Gamble, 43, and Randy Blevins, 70. Due to his young age, the sixth victim, a 16-year-old boy, had his name withheld. The shooting happened three days after a gunman in Colorado Springs, Colorado, killed five people and injured 17 others at an LGBTQ bar.
The Chesapeake City Manager, Chris Price, stated at a briefing on Wednesday, “You hope a day like this never occurs, but we train for it, we practice, we talk about it, and we learn lessons. You hope that you won’t ever need to apply those teachings.
The first 911 call came in at 10:12 p.m., according to Police Chief Mark Solesky, and the first cops arrived two minutes later. A handgun was found at the scene, and the attacker died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Solesky. The gunman, according to the police, was carrying many magazines. According to local officials, the gunman, two victims, and their bodies were discovered in the store’s break room.
Three other victims were taken to nearby hospitals but passed away from their wounds, and one body was discovered near the entrance of the store. Andre Bing, a 31-year-old “team leader” who has worked for the business since 2010, was identified by Walmart as the shooter. Along with two other persons, he was discovered dead in the break room. Police claimed to have searched his Chesapeake home, and detectives are looking for an explanation for the attack.
‘He Looked Directly at Me’
At the beginning of a shift, employees had congregated in the break room of the business, according to employee Briana Tyler, when the shooter, a manager, entered and began firing randomly without saying a word. She claimed, “He actually just started shooting across the whole break area.” “And I saw several people simply fall to the ground as they attempted to hide or as they were struck. He gave me a direct glance, but thankfully he missed my head by a few millimeters.”
Tyler, who started working at Walmart two months ago and had previously worked with Bing, claimed that despite warnings to be wary of him due to his penchant for firing people without cause, she had never had a bad experience with him. Jessie Wilczewski, a worker, told WAVY-TV that she was hiding under a table when the shooter aimed his gun at her and glanced at her before telling her to leave.
“Until you could feel the “pow-pow-pow,” it didn’t even appear to be real. It’s tangible,” Wilczewski remarked. “I suppose it was so loud at first that I couldn’t hear it. I was aware of it. Joetta Jeffery revealed to CNN that she received texts from her mother, who was present at the store at the time of the shooting. Betsy Umphlett, her mother, sustained no wounds. Jeffery said, “I’m shaking and crying.” I had just finished speaking with her about getting turkeys for Thanksgiving when the text arrived.
Small Crowd Gathers for Vigil, Shares Prayer of St. Francis
A small group of 22 people gathered for a vigil Wednesday night at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Chesapeake, 4 miles from the scene of the shooting, at a time when many people are in a festive mood and getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with their loved ones.
The congregation recited the St. Francis prayer, which starts with the words “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,” under the direction of the Rev. Mark McKone-Sweet. Let me sow love where there is hatred, and forgiveness where there has been an injury. The prayer, according to McKone-Sweet, “allows us to be where we need to be” in trying circumstances by bringing a sort of balance.”
‘Toughest Time of Year’ for Those in Retail
Houston-based truck driver Antonio Garcia, 31, claimed he went to Walmart for supplies on Tuesday just before 10 p.m. He observed police cars lining up in the parking lot and people leaving the structure as he made his way back to his truck. After learning there had been a shooting, he claimed to have seen a man bleeding from the head. It’s insane, he declared. “My wife and I were speaking. She said, “You need to pray.”
The “toughest time of year” for those working in retail, according to Maralee Santiago, a 31-year-old receptionist at Wayne’s Home, a furniture and mattress retailer next to Walmart, is now. She also claimed that employees frequently worry about their safety. She learned that one of her coworkers had visited Walmart on Tuesday evening, an hour before the shooting. She said, “My heart dropped.”
Biden, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin Offer Support and Sympathies
In a statement, President Joe Biden thanked first responders and promised support and help. He called for “more action” to reduce gun violence and made reference to a gun control measure that was passed earlier this year. The statement read, “There are now even more tables around the country that will have empty seats this Thanksgiving as a result of yet another tragic and senseless act of violence.” “More families today experience the worst kind of loss and suffering conceivable.”
According to a statement, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is supporting the investigation. Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin said he was making state resources accessible when he ordered flags to be flown at half-staff through Sunday. This morning, our hearts break with the Chesapeake community, he said. In a message published on Twitter, Mayor Rick W. West praised the work of first responders.
The senseless act of violence that happened late last night in our city has grieved me, West tweeted. We in the close-knit community of Chesapeake are all shocked by the news. In the hours following the incident, fear and rumors circulated. Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m., the city tweeted a warning that “It is FALSE to report that there is a shooter at the Target in Chesapeake. Please assist us in minimizing misinformation by limiting information sharing to this account.”
Chesapeake-born comedian and former SNL cast member Jay Pharoah vented on Twitter: “My heart breaks for my city, and the repetition of these crimes fuels my wrath. Right where I grew up, in my backyard. Although Chesapeake is powerful and will remain so, this must end. Not enough people care to alter it, too many innocent people are killed.”
Chesapeake Shooting Latest in Wave of Deadly Attacks
The shooting in Chesapeake, Virginia, is the most recent incident to shake the nation. It happened just a few days after a massacre at a popular LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which left five people dead and 17 injured. Earlier this month, a campus shooting left three University of Virginia football players dead and two other people injured. On the same day, four University of Idaho students were discovered stabbed to death.
40 mass murders have been committed so far this year, according to a database maintained by USA TODAY, The Associated Press, and Northeastern University since 2006, trailing only the 45 murders that took place throughout the entire year of 2019. According to the database, a mass killing is defined as the death of four or more individuals, excluding the killer.
Families, Friends Seek Word on Loved Ones in Walmart Shooting
A family reunion location has been set up at the Chesapeake Conference Center, according to a tweet from the police. When Amanda Lambert learned about the incident on Tuesday night, she became concerned since some of her pupils attend and work at the Chesapeake Public School.
“Because previous students now attend the University of Virginia, the scene of a recent attack, Lambert, 42, had to worry about his students for the second time in a week and a half. Although it was a relief to see her students on Wednesday, Lambert said she is frustrated because she doesn’t see anything improving.”
Walmart Again the Site of a Mass Shooting
One of the deadliest shootings in American history took place at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, in 2019, when a shooter who police believe was targeting Mexicans killed 22 people. Early on Wednesday, Walmart sent a statement on Twitter: “This horrific incident at our Chesapeake, Virginia, store has horrified us. We are offering prayers for those affected, the neighborhood, and our coworkers. We have a close relationship with law enforcement and are committed to helping our colleagues.”
“Sickened by reports of another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake,” Virginia senator Mark Warner wrote in a tweet. With a tweet stating that she was “very horrified that America’s newest mass massacre took place in a Walmart in my district,” state senator Louise Lucas mirrored Warner’s comments.
Where is Chesapeake, Virginia?
With over 250,000 residents, Chesapeake is Virginia’s second-largest city and is located 100 miles southeast of Richmond, the state’s capital. A few miles from the Virginia Beach coastline and the center of Norfolk, the city is situated on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. The city’s website states that Chesapeake “offers a limitless selection of outdoor activities, fantastic shopping, wonderful dining, and stunning wildlife.”