Six victims have been killed and one gunman is dead after a mass shooting at a Walmart store in Chesapeake, Virginia, where a man, believed to be a store manager, allegedly opened fire on co-workers in a break room.
More than 40 emergency vehicles were rushed to the Walmart location on Battlefield Boulevard after 911 was called Tuesday at 10:12 p.m. local time.
At least five injured people have been rushed to Norfolk General Hospital for treatment, Sentara Healthcare spokesman Mike Kafka said.
At a late-night press conference, Chesapeake Police Department spokesman Leo Kosinski confirmed that the shooter was dead.
He said he does not believe responding officers fired any shots, but it was unclear if the gunman was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot.
Officers believe the shooter was an employee or former employee who opened fire in the canteen of the store, a law enforcement source told UKTN.
A man who identified himself as a store employee posted a video on social media Tuesday night from outside the store in the aftermath of the shooting.
In the video, he claimed he had just left the break room when “one of the managers” walked in “and just started spraying” with bullets.
“I just came out of the break room, the manager came in, started covering people up there, started firing, man. The manager came in, started dumping, man. As soon as I left the break room, he went in there, man… that’s crazy,” he says in the video.
Mr Harper claims it was “one of the managers” and other “employees” died in the attack.
“It’s wild though, it was the manager, one of the managers,” he says.
“Blow people’s brains out and stuff… He came in and just started spraying and pooping,” he adds.
“Unfortunately, however, we lost a few of our employees, I don’t know how many.”
Police have not confirmed the identities of the victims or the shooter.
An employee who worked at the Chesapeake outlet for 20 years was taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds, his relatives told WAVY News. The employee called his family around 10:18 p.m. local time to inform them that he had been shot.
The law enforcement spokesman said that when police responded at the scene, they realized it was an active shooting situation and adjusted their tactics accordingly. “Over the course of the next 30-40 minutes, we were able to find several fatalities and several injuries.”
Police said a family reunion 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,” they said.
Walmart said in a statement early Wednesday “we are shocked by this tragic event” at their Chesapeake facility.
The company said: “We are praying for those affected, the community and our employees.” “We work closely with law enforcement and we are focused on supporting our employees.”
Several Virginia lawmakers have released statements condemning the violence.
Virginia state senator Louise Lucas said in a tweet late Tuesday that she was “absolutely heartbroken” that America’s last mass shooting happened at a Walmart in her Chesapeake county.
She added: “I will not rest until we find the solutions to end this epidemic of gun violence in our country, which has claimed so many lives.”
Senator Mark Warner said he was “sick” with reports of the mass shooting and will “monitor developments closely”.
“Became sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake,” Warner said in a tweet. “In the meantime, I urge everyone in the community to heed local law enforcement guidelines and stay away from the crime scene.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reportedly cooperating with the Chesapeake Police Department in the investigation.
Tuesday’s shooting came just three days after five people were killed and more than a dozen injured when a gunman opened fire on an LGBT+ nightclub in Colorado Springs.