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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

6 people killed in shooting at Virginia Walmart

An assailant opened fire inside a Walmart in Chesapeake, Va., on Tuesday night and was later found dead at the store, the authorities said.

By Chris Cameron and Jenny Gross

A Walmart manager opened fire on fellow employees in Chesapeake, Virginia, on Tuesday night, killing six people and wounding at least four others during a hectic holiday week.

It was the third recent high-profile mass shooting in the United States, after three students were killed at the University of Virginia last week and five people were killed Saturday night at a gay club in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The gunman in the Virginia shooting used a pistol and was found dead at the store, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Chief Mark Solesky of the Chesapeake Police Department said during a news conference Wednesday morning.

Police identified the gunman as Andre Bing, 31. Walmart said in a statement that he was an overnight team manager who had worked for the company since 2010.

Donya Prioleau, an employee on the overnight shift, said she saw the gunman come into the break room and, without a word, begin shooting. “None of us deserve to witness that,” she said, adding, “I just watched three of my friends killed in front of me.”

A shopper in the store, Jeromy Basham, said he heard what sounded liked several loud claps, then people yelling, “It’s a gun; get out.”

Local hospitals said they had treated several people injured in the shooting, including two who remained in critical condition. Three of the six slain victims died at hospitals, according to officials.

Solesky said the gunman was believed to have acted alone. “We have reason to believe that there’s no risk to the public at this time,” he said. He added that he had no indication that the gunman was known to police before the shooting. “There is no clear motive at this time.”

A SWAT team has executed a search warrant at the gunman’s home, Solesky said. He said the FBI was also involved with the investigation and helping to process the scene.

In a statement early Wednesday, Walmart said, “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.”

President Joe Biden expressed grief over the shooting. “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,” he said in a statement. He said he and the first lady, Jill Biden, also mourn for those who have lost loved ones to gun violence. Recent gun control efforts, he added, are not enough: “We must take greater action.”

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin ordered that flags over the state Capitol and all local, state and federal buildings be lowered to half-staff through sunset Sunday. “Heinous acts of violence have no place in our communities,” he said on Twitter.

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