Walmart manager kills six in latest US mass shooting

Virginia shootings
Virginia shootings

A 31-year-old Walmart manager shot and killed six people in a store packed with Thanksgiving shoppers before turning the gun on himself, authorities said Wednesday, in the second mass shooting in America in four days.

Four other people remained hospitalized in unknown condition after Tuesday night’s rampage in Chesapeake, Virginia, Police Chief Mark Soleski said.

The gunman is believed to have died of a “self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Soleski told reporters, adding that the motive behind the country’s latest outbreak of gun violence was not yet known.

City officials identified the gunman as Chesapeake resident Andre Bing, saying he was armed with a handgun and several magazines. Walmart confirmed in a statement that Bing was the overnight team leader, having worked at the company since 2010.

An employee named Brianna Tyler — who survived the attack — earlier described scenes of horror as a store manager walked into a staff break room and opened fire.

“He wasn’t targeting anyone in particular,” Tyler told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “It just literally started shooting all over the break and I could see a lot of people falling to the floor, either trying to duck for cover or getting hit.”

She said the gunman looked at her and fired, but missed him by inches. “He didn’t say a word, he didn’t say anything at all,” Tyler said.

The attack came two days before the key American family holiday, which falls on Thursday, and after a weekend gun attack at an LGBTQ club in Colorado that killed five people.

It was also the second mass shooting in the state of Virginia this month: three students at the University of Virginia who played on its football team were killed Nov. 13 by a classmate after a field trip.

President Joe Biden called the attack senseless and said “there are now even more tables across the country that will have empty seats this Thanksgiving.”

In the Walmart attack, emergency calls were first made shortly after 22:00 on Tuesday (03:00 GMT Wednesday) while the store was still open. Chesapeake is located about 150 miles (240 km) southeast of the US capital, Washington.

Officers entered the store minutes later, Solesky said.

The gunman and two victims were found dead at recess, while another body was found near the front of the store, the city said. Three people who were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds later died.

Terri Brown, who was at Walmart but left shortly before the shooting, said the store was full of holiday shoppers.

“It was extremely crowded,” Brown told local ABC affiliate 13NewsNow. “All the cashiers were extremely busy. They had most of the registers open. There were long, long lines at the self-checkout.”

In the store’s parking lot Wednesday, a makeshift memorial of flowers and small white electric candles sat atop a tree beneath crime scene tape. White, blue and gold balloons tied to a tree blew in the wind.

Gun attacks on grocery stores in America have become more common in recent years. A teenage gunman killed 10 people, most of them black, at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, in May.

Last year a shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado left 10 dead. And in a particularly gruesome attack in 2019, a young gunman killed 23 and wounded 26 as he stalked shoppers at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

An advocacy group called Guns Down America reported that from Jan. 1, 2020, to May 14 of this year, there were 448 “gun incidents” and 137 deaths at 12 major national retailers.

So far in 2022, the Gun Violence Archive website has tracked more than 600 mass shootings in the United States — defined as an incident with four or more people shot or killed, not including the shooter.

Tyler, the store employee, told ABC the manager in question had a reputation for being difficult.

“He was the manager to watch because there was always something going on with him, he just had a problem with somebody,” he said. “I never would have thought he would do something like that.”

The incident occurred three nights after a gunman opened fire inside an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, killing five people and injuring at least 18.

Attorneys for the 22-year-old suspect in that attack, Anderson Lee Aldrich, said in court documents that the suspect identifies as non-binary and uses their/their pronouns.

Aldrich on Wednesday made a brief video court appearance in which no charges were filed and no pleas were made.

A memorial at the site of a fatal shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia -- the attack came two days before Thanksgiving, the quintessential American family holiday
A memorial at the site of a fatal shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia — the attack came two days before Thanksgiving, the quintessential American family holiday
Police have identified the gunman in the Walmart shooting as an employee at the store
Police have identified the gunman in the Walmart shooting as an employee at the store

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *