‘Laughing’ Walmart worker opened fire in break room of Virginia store then turned his pistol on himself in ‘targeted’ pre-Thanksgiving rampage: Seven dead – including gunman – and four hospitalized
- The gunman is yet to be named but police confirmed he was an employee of the store in Chesapeake, Virginia
- At 10.10pm last night, he opened fire in a break room of the store. It’s unclear if the rampage was contained to the break room or if he ventured into the store
- By 10.14pm, when the first cops entered the store, the gunman had killed himself with his pistol
- It remains unclear if all six victims were also employees or if any customers were also shot
- Walmart will not confirm whether or not there was an armed security guard working on the premises
- Four people were taken to nearby hospitals; it’s unclear what their conditions are on Wednesday
- Witness accounts claim the gunman opened fire in a room where staff were having a meeting
A Walmart manager killed six people at his store in Chesapeake, Virginia, last night before shooting himself dead in a pre-Thanksgiving rampage that witnesses say was a targeted attack on his colleagues.
The suspect has not yet been named. He opened fire in the break room of the store in Sam’s Circle at 10.10pm on Tuesday night while shoppers were carrying out last minute Thanksgiving errands.
By 10.16pm, when the first cops entered the store, the gunman was dead. Police confirmed on Wednesday that he died from a self-inflicted wound.
One body was discovered outside, beside the store’s entrance, according to witnesses. It’s unclear if that was the shooter’s body or one of the victim’s.
One survivor told local outlet WAVY that she heard the gunman laughing at some point during the attack, and that he deliberately targeted a room full of staff who had gathered to discuss the shift they’d just completed.
Among those killed was a teenage employee, according to another survivor.
Kevin Harper, who works at the store, survived the attack. Immediately after fleeing the store, he launched a Facebook Live where he said it was a ‘manager’ who’d opened fire.
‘It was the manager, one of the managers. Just left out the break room, manager came in and started capping people up in there. We lost a few of our associates.’
Walmart is yet to give any kind of information about the shooter or the victims.
In a Twitter statement last night, the company said: ‘We are shocked at this tragic event at our Chesapeake, Virginia store. We’re praying for those impacted, the community and our associates.
‘We’re working closely with law enforcement and we are focused on supporting our associates.’
Five patients were being treated for injuries at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, the area’s top trauma center.
But many are thought to be seriously hurt, as over 40 emergency service vehicles swooped to the Walmart supercenter on Tuesday night.
One Walmart employee, standing outside the store after the horrific attack, revealed on social media: ‘It was the manager. One of the managers.’
Referring to the gunman, the shaken staff member added: ‘He blew his brains out and everything.
‘He killed the girl in there and everything. He came in and started spraying. I’m sorry for the victims.
‘I just left the break room, the manager come in there and started capping people up in there, started shooting. Sadly we lost a few of our associates.’
‘It was a traumatic experience,’ he later revealed to DailyMail.com.
Police have not yet confirmed the nature of the shooter’s death.
A second Walmart employee, who showed up for their nightshift shortly after the shooting, told reporters at the scene: ‘Thank goodness I showed up late.’
‘Chesapeake Police confirm seven fatalities, including the shooter, from last night’s shooting at Walmart on Sam’s Circle,’ the city confirmed on its Twitter account.
Police officer Leo Kosinski said there were multiple fatalities and injuries and that police were still searching the building, in an update during the early hours of Wednesday morning.
He said: ‘As police arrived on scene, they realized it was an active shooter situation and we had to change our tactics.’
Addressing the fatal shooting, Walmart said in a statement: ‘We are shocked at this tragic event at our Chesapeake, Virginia store.
‘We’re praying for those impacted, the community and our associates. We’re working closely with law enforcement, and we are focused on supporting our associates.’
The supercenter was open to the public at the time of the shooting – and cops said the Walmart may have been busy as shoppers were preparing for Thanksgiving.
Kosinski said police feared there could be even more people inside the large store, either injured or hiding following the gunshots.
Virginia Beach police responded to assist the Chesapeake Police Department. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in Washington tweeted in the early hours of Wednesday morning that they were also on the way to help with the investigation.
Virginia state Senator Louise Lucas, who represents that portion of Chesapeake, said: ‘I am absolutely heartbroken that America’s latest mass shooting took place in a Walmart in my district in Chesapeake, Virginia tonight.
‘I will not rest until we find the solutions to end this gun violence epidemic in our country that has taken so many lives.’
Member of Congress Representative Elaine Luria posted to Twitter: ‘Enough is enough’.
Virginia senator Mark Warner said: ‘Sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake. I’ll be monitoring developments closely.’
Just last week, another shooting rocked the state of Virginia after three college football players died when a former player opened fire on a field trip bus.
Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., 22, shot into the bus at around 10.15pm, killing three people and injuring two more.
University of Virginia students Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler were killed in the horrific shooting.
Prosecutors told the court that Devin Chandler was sleeping when he was shot dead. The students were returning from a field trip last Sunday when the terror unfolded.
Jones faces second-degree murder and other charges stemming from the shooting, which set off a manhunt and 12-hour campus lockdown before he was apprehended in suburban Richmond.
Jones was remanded in custody without bond and will next appear in court in December at 9.30am.