World

Virginia mass shooter was a manager for Walmart

November 24, 2022 10:30 am

[Source: CNN News]

The manager of a Virginia Walmart who killed six people and himself and injured several others in a Tuesday night massacre has been identified as 31-year-old Andre Bing, the city of Chesapeake said on Twitter.

Bing was an “overnight team lead” and had been employed with Walmart since 2010, the company said in a statement.

Authorities were working Wednesday to identify any more witnesses to the violence and were also digging into the shooter’s background for information on what could have motivated the attack, police said in a news release.

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At least 50 people were inside the Walmart when the violence erupted, police said. Some of them have begun publicly sharing their accounts of how a calm night turned into a horrifying tragedy.

The violence marks yet another mass shooting in a place traditionally seen as safe – from schools to hospitals to stores.

Just 170 miles west of Chesapeake, a 22-year-old student at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville allegedly opened fire on fellow students this month, killing three of them on a bus returning to campus from a field trip to Washington, DC.

Last weekend, a 22-year-old shot and killed five people at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and 19 others were injured, authorities said.

The US has suffered more than 600 mass shootings so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Both the non-profit and CNN define mass shootings as those in which four or more people are shot, not including the assailant.

The deadly rampage started around 10:12 p.m. Tuesday, less than an hour before the Walmart Supercenter was set to close.

Employee Kevin Harper said a colleague entered the breakroom and started shooting.

Four people injured in the shooting remained hospitalized Wednesday morning, Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky said. At least two were in critical condition, said Dr. Michael Hooper, vice president and chief medical officer at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

Investigators swept the store overnight into Wednesday, searching for victims or people who may have been hiding, Chesapeake police said.

Customer Jeromy Basham, who was at Walmart Tuesday night to buy tablecloths, said he heard the sound of the gunshots and a few seconds later, people began rushing out of the store.

For a while, Basham took cover after employees warned him, “Don’t come out,” before he eventually made it outside safely.

Once outside, he saw responding officers enter the store with heavy body armour and long rifles while other witnesses and employees stood in the parking lot. In additional videos from Basham, dozens of first responders are seen on the scene.

Jeffery said her mother is not injured but traumatized by the tragedy.

A reunification centre was set up at the Chesapeake Conference Center for families seeking details about loved ones who were at the store. City officials have asked that only relatives or emergency contacts of those inside visit the centre.

John Furner, Walmart’s US president and CEO, said the mass shooting in Chesapeake was exceptionally tragic because the assailant was an employee.

“We feel tragedies like this personally and deeply. But this one is especially painful as we have learned the gunman was a Walmart associate,” Furner said in a statement. “The entire Walmart family is heartbroken. Our hearts and prayers are with those impacted, and we are grateful for the actions of first responders.”

The FBI’s Norfolk division said the agency is assisting the Chesapeake Police Department in the investigation.

Authorities ask anyone with information about the shooting to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.