Shooting leaves six dead in U.S. Walmart supermarket: suspect believed to be store employee who killed himself
Eva Deschamps / November 24, 2022
The suspect in the shooting that left six people dead Tuesday night at a Walmart supermarket in Virginia (eastern United States), an employee, committed suicide at the scene of the killing, police announced at a press conference Wednesday.
The manager of a Walmart supermarket in the eastern United States is suspected of shooting six people Tuesday night before killing himself at the scene, police said Wednesday.
The shooter, identified as Andre Bing, 31, was armed with a pistol and had several magazines in his possession, said the municipality of Chesapeake in Virginia, where the events took place.
The suspect held the position of "night shift supervisor and had worked with us since 2010," the retail giant said in a statement.
The motive for the killing is not yet known.
I looked up and my manager opened the door and just started shooting," Briana Tyler told ABC.
"He didn't say anything, nothing at all," she added.
According to authorities, the shooter killed two people in the break room and committed suicide there. Another victim was discovered "toward the front of the store" and three others "were transported to nearby hospitals but succumbed to their injuries."
The shooting also left six people injured, one of whom is in serious condition.
In front of the store, where about 15 investigators were working Wednesday, including some federal police officers, now stands a makeshift memorial of flowers and candles in honor of the victims.
President Joe Biden deplored a "horrific and senseless act of violence" on the eve of the great family holiday of Thanksgiving, "one of the holidays we cherish most and that brings us together as Americans and as families."
"Even more tables across the country will have chairs left empty this Thanksgiving," he lamented in a statement.
This tragedy is the latest in a series of killings in the United States: four days earlier, a shooting in Colorado Springs in the west of the country left five dead and at least 18 injured in an LGBT+ club. And the week before, already in Virginia, three members of the University of Virginia (UVA) American soccer team were killed by a former teammate.
The investigation into the Chesapeake supermarket is just beginning, Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky said Wednesday morning.
Law enforcement received the first emergency call at 10:12 p.m. Tuesday night and the first officers entered the Walmart store four minutes later, Solesky said.
The store was full of customers when the shooting broke out, according to local media.
The phenomenon of employee-initiated shootings is not new to the United States. From the 1970s to the 1990s, employees or former employees killed about 40 people in a series of attacks on the postal service, so much so that Americans coined the phrase "going postal" to describe workplace violence.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been more than 600 mass shootings (at least four people killed or wounded) in the United States so far this year.
And supermarkets are particularly hard hit. A study by Guns Down America, based on figures from the Gun Violence Archive between January 2020 and May 2022, concluded that major supermarket chains saw shootings occur an average of four times a week in their stores.
The issue of tightening the legal framework around guns remains politically ultra-sensitive, however, and Congress is unable to reach agreement on the issue.