December 5, 2022

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Walmart exec kills six in recent mass shooting in US

4 min read

A 31-year-old lodging manager at Walmart shot dead six people in a store full of Thanksgiving shoppers before pointing the gun at himself, authorities said Wednesday in America’s second high-profile mass shooting in four days.

Four other people remained hospitalized in unknown conditions following Tuesday night’s shooting in Chesapeake, Virginia, Police Chief Mark Solesky said.

The shooter is believed to have died from a “self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Solesky told reporters, adding that the motive behind the recent outbreak of gun violence in the country was not yet known.

City authorities identified the shooter as Chesapeake resident Andre Bing and said he was armed with a handgun and several magazines. Walmart confirmed in a statement that Bing was an overnight team leader who had been employed by the company since 2010.

An employee named Briana Tyler – who survived the attack – previously described terrifying scenes when the store manager entered a break room and opened fire.

“He’s not targeting anyone specifically,” Tyler told ABC’s Good Morning America. “He literally started shooting all over the break room and I could see several people just falling to the ground, whether trying to duck for cover or getting hit.”

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

CHESAPEAKE, VA – NOVEMBER 23: Onlookers watch as law enforcement investigate the scene of a fatal shooting at a Walmart on November 23, 2022 in Chesapeake, Virginia. Six people were killed after Tuesday night’s shooting, including the suspected gunman. Nathan Howard/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Nathan Howard/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/Getty Images via AFP)

The attack came two days before the typical American family holiday on Thursday and after a weekend shooting attack at an LGBTQ club in Colorado that killed five people.

And less than 10 days before that shooting in Chesapeake, Virginia, on November 13, three University of Virginia students who were on their football team were killed by a classmate after a field trip.

Calling the attack pointless, President Joe Biden said, “There are now even more tables across the country that will have empty seats this Thanksgiving.”

– “Extremely crowded” –

In the Walmart attack, the first emergency calls were made just after 10:00 p.m. (Wednesday 03:00 GMT) on Tuesday, while the store was still open. Chesapeake is about 150 miles (240 kilometers) southeast of the US capital Washington.

Officials entered the store a few minutes later, Solesky said.

The gunman and two victims were found dead in the break room, 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.

The youngest of the victims was 16, officials said.

Terri Brown, who was at the Walmart but left shortly before the shooting, said the store was packed with Christmas shoppers.

“It was extremely crowded,” Brown told local ABC affiliate 13NewsNow. “All the cash registers were very full. They had opened most of the tills. There were long, long lines at the self-checkout.”

A makeshift memorial made of flowers and small white electric candles on a tree stood under crime scene tape in the store’s parking lot on Wednesday. White, blue and gold balloons attached to a tree waving in the wind.

Susan Neal Matousek passed the plaque to “express my condolences,” she told AFP.

“I couldn’t imagine losing someone right before Thanksgiving,” said the 57-year-old retired teacher.

Walmart said in a statement Wednesday the company is cooperating with law enforcement investigations and is “focused on doing everything we can to support our employees and their families.”

Gun attacks in grocery stores in America have become increasingly 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, ten people were also killed in a shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado. And in one particularly gruesome attack in 2019, a young gunman killed 23 and wounded 26 while pursuing shoppers at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

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

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

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

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

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