Walmart on Wednesday identified the store manager who police say opened fire at a store in Chesapeake, Virginia, killing six people and wounding at least six more.
The gunman, identified by the company as Andre Bing, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky said. A handgun was recovered at the scene.
Solesky said the first 911 call came in at Tuesday at 10:12 p.m. local time, and the first officers arrived two minutes later. There was no clear motive for the shooting, authorities said.
Walmart will “continue to work with local law enforcement as they continue their investigation,” said Robert Arrieta, a spokesperson for the company.
The shooting comes amid a wave of deadly gun violence in the U.S. and was the second major shooting in a little more than a week in Virginia. It was also the second high-profile mass shooting across the U.S. in less than a week span after Club Q, a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, was attacked by a gunman.
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“The devastating news of last night’s shooting at our Chesapeake, VA store at the hands of one of our associates has hit our Walmart family hard. My heart hurts for our associates and the Chesapeake community who have lost or injured loved ones. We are here for them today and in the challenging days ahead they will have our support,” wrote Doug McMillion, Walmart’s CEO, on LinkedIn on Wednesday.
“We appreciate all of our associates, first responders, and local officials who are already on site helping offer support as we work together to navigate this tragedy,” he added.
Who was the gunman in the Chesapeake, Virginia Walmart shooting?
Walmart said Andre Bing, 31, was a “team leader” who had worked for the company since 2010. Bing was an overnight team lead, the news station WTVR in Richmond reported. A search of local and state court records did not bring up any previous criminal charges against Bing. USA TODAY could not locate any social media pages for him, either.
The City of Chesapeake said in a news release detectives are working on learning more about Bing and his motive. In the release, the city said the Chesapeake SWAT team “executed a search warrant at the suspect’s residence and with the help of Virginia State Police cleared the house.”
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Employee Briana Tyler, who started working at Walmart two months ago, said she never had a negative encounter with Bing, but others told her that he was “the manager to look out for.” She said Bing had a history of writing people up for no reason.
And Shaundrayia Reese, an employee previously worked with Bing, told The New York Times, “Everyone called him weird.”
The Times reported other co-workers saying Bing had covered his cell phone camera out of fear the government was watching him.
What happened in the Virginia Walmart shooting?
Tyler said the shooting unfolded after the overnight stocking team — about 15 to 20 people — had gathered in the break room to go over the morning plan.
The meeting was about to start and a team leader made a comment about having a “light night ahead of us.”
That’s when Bing, another team leader, turned around and opened fire on the staff, according to Tyler.
A news release from the City of Chesapeake on Wednesday says Bing was armed with “one handgun and several magazines. It said he was “dressed in civilian clothing and was not wearing any type of armor or a ballistic vest.”
“It is by the grace of God that a bullet missed me,” Tyler said. “I saw the smoke leaving the gun, and I literally watched bodies drop. It was crazy.”
About 50 people were believed to be inside of the store at the time of the shooting, the city’s release reads.
Who were the victims?
Authorities released the names of those killed Wednesday. Walmart said all of those killed were employees.
Police said the dead included a 16-year-old boy whose name was being withheld because of his age.
The other victims were identified as Brian Pendleton, 38; Kellie Pyle, 52; Lorenzo Gamble, 43; and Randy Blevins, 70, who were all from Chesapeake; and Tyneka Johnson, 22, of nearby Portsmouth.
Contributing: Gina Barton, The Associated Press