A shooting at a Virginia Walmart on Tuesday night he left at least six deadas confirmed this Wednesday by local authorities, who added that the attacker also died.
Deputies responded to a report of a shooting at the Sam’s Circle Walmart around 10:15 p.m. and as soon as they arrived they found evidence of a shooting, Chesapeake Officer Leo Kosinski said at a briefing.
Over 35 or 40 minutes, agents found multiple dead and injured in the store and assembled rescue and tactical teams to go in to care for the victims, he said.
Kosinski said he does not believe police fired shots, but could not confirm whether the shooter had died of a self-inflicted gunshot.
Walmart, the largest US retailer, issued a statement early Wednesday saying it was “shocked by this tragic event.”
Mike Kafka, a spokesman for Sentara Healthcare, said in a text message that five patients stemming from the shooting are being treated at Norfolk General Hospital. Their terms were not immediately available.
The Virginia shooting occurs three days after a person opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado, killing five people and injuring 17. That shooter, who is non-binary, was arrested after he was tackled and beaten by club patrons. The shootings come in a year in which the country has been rocked by the death of 21 people in a shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas.
Tuesday’s shooting also brought back memories of another shooting at a Walmart in 2019, when a gunman who police say was targeting Mexicans opened fire at a store in El Paso, killing 22 people. Walmart did not have a security guard on duty that day.
US Senator Mark Warner tweeted that he is “disgusted by reports of another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake.” State Sen. Louise Lucas echoed Warner’s sentiment, tweeting that she was “absolutely heartbroken that America’s latest mass shooting took place at a Walmart in my district.”
Chesapeake police tweeted that a family reunification site has been set up at the Chesapeake Conference Center. This site is only for immediate family members or the emergency contact of those who may have been in the building, the tweet said.
Chesapeake is about 7 miles (11 kilometers) south of Norfolk, and 240 kilometers southeast of the US capital, Washington.
The massacre came less than 48 hours before Americans across the country celebrate Thanksgiving.
Gun violence is occurring at an alarming rate in the United States, where more than 600 shootings have taken place so far in 2022, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
(With information from AP and AFP)