Police are working at the scene of a mass shooting at a Walmart, Wednesday 11/23/2022, in Chesapeake, Virginia. The store was packed with people stocking up ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday just before shooting Tuesday night.
Alex Brandon | AP
A Walmart The night crew supervisor killed six people Tuesday night before taking his own life at the Walmart Supercenter in Chesapeake, Virginia, police said Wednesday.
The massacre happened as people were buying last-minute Thanksgiving items and the store was preparing for Black Friday, when shoppers traditionally head to retailers like Walmart to pick up Christmas gifts at bargain prices.
The shooter – identified as Andre Bing, 31, of Chesapeake – was a disgruntled employee, a senior law enforcement official told NBC News. He was armed with a pistol and carried several ammo magazines. officials said.
Bing was a team leader overnight and has been with the company since 2010, Walmart said.
“We feel such tragedies personally and deeply. But this one is particularly painful as we learned the shooter was a Walmart employee,” Walmart US chief John Furner said in a message to employees. “Our hearts and prayers are with those affected and we are grateful for the response of first responders.”
The company’s CEO, Doug McMillon, vowed in a LinkedIn post to support the store’s employees in the wake of the shooting.
In June, Walmart announced that it had added a class to its store manager training program focused on identifying employees and customers who may need intervention for mental health issues. Officials said Wednesday they had not yet identified a “clear motive” for Tuesday’s shooting.
The shooting was reported to police just after 10 p.m. ET, and officers arrived at the scene within minutes. Police declared the store safe until 11:20 p.m., officials said on Wednesday.
A local hospital treated other victims. The shooter used a handgun and apparently died from a self-inflicted gunshot, police said on Wednesday.
Chesapeake Police and Virginia State Police were executing a search warrant at the suspect’s home, and authorities believe there is no further risk to the public, officials said Wednesday.
Chesapeake store remains closed while authorities investigate shooting That process could take days, officials said.
The Walmart massacre came days after a deadly weekend mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado that killed five people. In May, a white supremacist gunman shot at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, killing 10 people in a mostly black neighborhood.
Other Walmart stores were the scene of fatal shootings. In 2019, a gunman attacked a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing more than 20 people just days after two store associates were killed at the company’s Southaven, Mississippi store. At the time, McMillon said Walmart would further restrict gun sales in its stores in response to the shootings.
President Joe Biden called Wednesday’s shooting a “horrific and senseless act of violence” and said the country needs to take a stronger stance on gun control.
“We are grateful to the first responders who have mobilized to assist the victims, and I have directed federal officials to provide any assistance and assistance needed to the people of Chesapeake,” he said in a statement.
If you have thoughts of suicide or are in distress, contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 for support and help from a trained counselor.