Walmart worker opened fire in the store, 6 killed and 4 injured
A Walmart worker opened fire at a store in Virginia, leaving six people dead, police said Wednesday, the second high-profile mass killing in the country in a handful of days, police said. The assailant also killed himself. According to a shopper, the store in Chesapeake was very busy just before the shooting Tuesday night as people were stocking up for Thanksgiving.
The motive behind the shooting, which left four people hospitalized, was unknown to police chief Mark G. Solesky. The gunman’s home was searched, but Solesky did not give his name, only saying he was a Walmart employee, “I am devastated by the senseless act of violence that took place late last night in our city,” Mayor Rick W. West said in a statement posted on the city’s Twitter account Wednesday. “Chesapeake is a tightknit community and we are all shaken by this news.”.
Joetta Jeffery told CNN that her mother was inside the store when shots were fired. Betsy Umphlett, was not hurt, “I’m crying, I’m shaking,” Jeffery said. “I had just talked to her about buying turkeys for Thanksgiving, then this text came in.”
A database run by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University that tracks every mass killing in America going back to 2006 shows this year has been especially bad. As of now, the U.S. has had 40 mass killings so far this year, second only to the 45 that occurred all of 2019. The database defines a mass killing as killing at least four people, not including the killer.
The shooting on Tuesday brought back memories of another in El Paso in 2019, when 22 people were killed by a gunman who police say targeted Mexicans, In Chesapeake, Virginia’s second-largest city, police arrived to find the shooting had stopped, according to Officer Leo Kosinski. Norfolk and Virginia Beach are also nearby seaside communities.
As others shrieked as they left a conference center set up as a family reunification center after learning that his brother had died, one man wailed at a hospital. A former Walmart employee, Camille Buggs, sought information about her former coworkers at the conference center.
Buggs, 58, of Chesapeake, said he’d never imagine such a thing happening in his town, neighborhood, store- in his favorite. That’s what shocked him, Walmart tweeted early Wednesday that it was “shocked at this tragic event.”