Six people killed by employee who opened fire in Chesapeake, Virginia, store, suspect also dead

An employee at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, opened fire on co-workers on Tuesday night, killing six people and wounding four others in the store before turning the gun on himself, Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky said Wednesday morning.

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Officers were dispatched to an active threat situation at the Walmart Supercenter at 10:12 p.m. local time, Chesapeake Police spokesman Leo Kosinski told reporters at the scene Tuesday night. Solesky said officers were on the scene within two minutes, entered the store two minutes after that and cleared the store and located all the victims in just about an hour.

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A police vehicle is parked outside a Walmart store in Chesapeake, Virginia on November 23, 2022, early after a mass shooting that killed seven people, including the suspect.

Nicole Sganga/CBS News

The suspect was also found dead, and police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the shooting.

Solesky said the suspected employee was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He said a gun was used in the shooting. According to the chief of police, the suspect has not been identified, they are waiting for notification of his next of kin.

The FBI office in Norfolk, Virginia confirmed that the agency was assisting the Chesapeake Police Department, which was the lead agency in the investigation.

Four additional victims were still being treated at area hospitals Wednesday morning, but the nature and extent of their injuries were unclear, Solesky said.

Mass shooting at Walmart
Law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, work at the scene of a mass shooting at a Walmart on November 23, 2022 in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Alex Brandon/AP

Kosinksi said Tuesday night that the shooting happened inside the store, although at least one body was found outside. According to Walmart’s website, the store was open for customers at the time of the shooting.

A man who said he was a shopper described the scene in cellphone video, CBS News national affairs director and justice correspondent Jeff Pegues reports.

“We heard multiple gunshots inside … and everyone ran outside,” Jeromy Basham said. “There was a person below who is still below.”

Another man said in the video that he was among the Walmart employees in the store when the shooting started, Pegues reported.

“I literally walked out of the break room, right? And immediately, probably about, no more than five minutes,” the shots rang out, Kevin Harper said.

Chesapeake Mayor Rick West issued a statement early Wednesday morning said he was “devastated by the senseless act of violence” and praised first responders.

Chesapeake is located in the Hampton Roads coastal region of southern Virginia, which includes the cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

Kosinksi said a “reunion site” has been set up at the Chesapeake Conference Center, which the city’s Twitter account said is “for immediate family members or emergency contacts of those who may have been in the building.”

The incident was the second major mass shooting in the United States in the past few days. Five people were killed and 17 wounded when a suspect opened fire at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo., early Sunday morning.

“Disgusted by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at Walmart in Chesapeake,” Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia tweeted early Wednesday morning.

Virginia’s new Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, also weighed in, to speak: “Our hearts go out to the Chesapeake community this morning,” in a tweet, adding that “heinous acts of violence have no place in our communities.”

Walmart issued a statement saying the company is “shocked by this tragic event” and is “praying for those affected, the community and our associates.”

The retail giant said it is “working closely with law enforcement and we are focused on supporting our associates.”

Virginia state Sen. Louise Lucas, a Democrat who represents the Chesapeake region, said in a tweet that she was “heartbroken that the latest mass shooting in America happened at a Walmart in my district.”

“I will not rest until we find a solution to end this epidemic of gun violence in our country that has taken so many lives,” she said.

“It is tragic that our community is suffering yet another senseless act of gun violence just as families gather for Thanksgiving,” said U.S. Representative Bobby Scott of Virginia.

According to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, there have been more than 600 mass shootings in the United States this year, with at least 36 fatalities.

Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston who has spent decades collecting data on US shootings, reported the same figure, which he said made 2022 a record year for such attacks even before the Chesapeake Walmart incident. .

“I’ve been studying mass killings for over 40 years, and I’m pretty sure there’s never been a year with so many,” Fox said in an article published Monday by Northeastern after the Colorado shooting. .

Fox has seen an “unprecedented increase” since the beginning of October alone, and in that time, he said, there have been 13 fatal mass shootings.

“That’s an average of about two mass shootings a week,” Fox said.


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