U.S. police identify Walmart shooter as gun violence casts shadow over Thanksgiving

2022-11-24 14:12:11Xinhua Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Police identified Wednesday the shooter who opened fire at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia late Tuesday night, killing six people and injuring four others.

The shooter was 31-year-old Andre Bing of Chesapeake, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and was dead upon police arrival on the scene.

Police said they responded to the shooting at 10:12 p.m. Tuesday (0312 GMT Wednesday) and officers began locating and evacuating occupants of the store.

Bing, an employee of the Walmart store, was armed with one handgun and several magazines, police said. Investigators are actively working to learn more about the suspect's background and motivation.

Three individuals, including the shooter, were located deceased in the break room of the store.

One victim was killed near the front of the store while three others succumbed to their injuries after being transported to the hospital for further treatment.

At the time of the shooting, at least 50 people were believed inside the store.

The Walmart is expected to be closed for several days while detectives continue to collect evidence and process the crime scene.

Walmart, a retail corporation, said in a statement on Wednesday that they "are shocked at this tragic event at our Chesapeake, Virginia store."

"We're praying for those impacted, the community, and our associates," the statement read. "We're working closely with law enforcement, and we are focused on supporting our associates."

The city of Chesapeake on Wednesday identified five of the six people killed in the Walmart shooting. The sixth victim is a 16-year-old male resident of Chesapeake whose name was withheld because he was a minor.

Kevin Harper, a Walmart employee who managed to flee the Chesapeake store, said that they had lost a few associates.

Briana Tyler, another employee at the Walmart in Chesapeake, told ABC News that "I looked up and my manager just opened the door and he just opened fire."

"He wasn't aiming at anybody specifically," Tyler recalled. "He just literally started shooting throughout the entire break room and I watched multiple people just drop down to the floor, whether they were trying to duck for cover or they were hit."

Tyler said the gunman looked "directly at" her and fired but "luckily missed" her head by "an inch or two."

The Walmart shooting came a day before the United States celebrates Thanksgiving.

U.S. President Joe Biden issued a statement on Wednesday morning, saying 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."

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin said on Wednesday that he remains "in contact with law enforcement officials" and that he has "made available any resources as this investigation moves forward."

The United States has suffered more than 600 mass shootings so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

The nonprofit tallies a mass shooting as an incident involving at least four individuals killed or injured, not including the shooter.

This was the second time in a month that Virginia had seen a mass shooting. On the night of Nov. 13, a shooter fatally shot three people and injured two others at the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville.

The past weekend, a similar tragedy occurred at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with a gunman killing five people and injuring 19 others.

Joe Vogel, a state delegate-elect of Maryland, tweeted that "this is a crisis" in the wake of the Chesapeake shooting on Tuesday.

"News stations are interrupting coverage of one mass shooting to report on another mass shooting," wrote Vogel, who appeared to be frustrated by the frequent occurrence of mass shootings across the United States. 


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