A gunman fatally shot six people and wounded four others in a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, on Tuesday night. The shooter, who apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, was an employee at the store, Chesapeake police chief Mark Solesky said Wednesday.
Investigators believe the shooter opened fire on fellow employees in a break room using a pistol. Law-enforcement sources told ABC News that he may have been a manager at the store. The gunman and the victims have yet to be identified.
Four people were injured and have been taken to the hospital. Their conditions were unknown as of Wednesday morning, and it’s unclear if they were all employees of the store.
Police received reports of a shooting at the Walmart superstore in Chesapeake, Virginia’s second-largest city by population, at 10:12 p.m. Police entered the store minutes later and declared the scene safe a little over an hour after that.
Walmart employee Donya Prioleau told the Washington Post that the gunman, whom she identified as a manager, killed three of her colleagues. She wrote in a Facebook post, “Our manager came in our breakroom and shot half of friends and coworkers in front of us, without saying anything.”
Prioleau said many of the employees in the store at the time belonged to the overnight stocking crew. “We’re really good friends,” she told the Post in a phone interview. “We’re family, because you spend most of the night together. What happened last night was awful to see.”
Kevin Harper, another Walmart employee, told ABC News that he was sitting in the break room on Tuesday night, but he left because something didn’t feel right. A few moments later, he heard three or four gunshots, so he ran into a clothes hanger to hide. “I couldn’t tell you how long I hid in there. Time just stopped at that moment,” he said. He then decided to run for the employee entrance, and on his way out, he saw two people on the floor — including one woman covered in blood.
The attack occurred less than a hour before the store was set to close and two days before Thanksgiving.
Walmart issued the following statement on the attack:
President Biden said in a statement Wednesday morning that “because of yet another horrific and senseless act of violence, there are now even more tables across the country that will have empty seats this Thanksgiving. There are now more families who know the worst kind of loss and pain imaginable.” He said he and the First Lady are grieving for the victims’ families and the Chesapeake community, noting that the state “just suffered a terrible shooting at the University of Virginia this month,” which left three football players dead.
“This year, I signed the most significant gun reform in a generation, but that is not nearly enough,” Biden added. “We must take greater action.”
Local officials also expressed their sorrow and condolences.
The Walmart shooting comes just days after five people were killed and 25 injured when a 22-year-old gunman opened fire inside an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs.