The night manager, who killed six other workers at a Walmart in Virginia and wounded at least half a dozen others, was identified by the company on Wednesday as 31-year-old Andre Bing.
Bing, who took his own life after opening fire on his employees on Tuesday, worked the night shift at Walmart Supercenter in the city of Chesapeake and was a long-time employee, the company said in a statement.
“We can confirm that he was a Walmart employee,” the statement said. “Andre’s position in the company was a team leader overnight and he has been with us since 2010.”
Chesapeake City officials also confirmed the gunman’s name on their official Twitter account and said he was armed with a pistol and multiple magazines.
City officials identified five of the victims Wednesday: Lorenzo Gamble, 43, Brian Pendleton, 38, Kellie Pyle, 52, Randall Blevins, 70, and Tyneka Johnson, 22. A 16-year-old man was also killed, but his name is “currently being withheld because he is a minor,” the city said.
According to Walmart, all victims were Walmart employees.
Police ransacked the suspect’s home on Wednesday to determine a motive for the mass murder. It was assumed that there were about 50 people in the shop at the start of the shooting, police said.
“He was just weird,” 27-year-old Shaundrayia Reese from Chesapeake said about Bing in an interview with CNNBreakingNews.net.
Reese said Bing was her boss at Walmart from 2014 to 2018 and that he would put tape over the camera on his phone because he was convinced the government was watching him.
“He never talked about anything that deals with violence,” Reese said. “Always stuff about the government, his weight, his family. Things like that.”
Bing was found dead in a break room with two more dead, the city of Chesapeake tweeted Wednesday afternoon.
Another victim was found dead near the front of the store, and the three other victims of the shooting were taken to local hospitals but later died from their injuries, city officials said.
At least six other injured people have been taken to local hospitals for treatment, including one person who is currently in critical condition, officials said.
According to a CNNBreakingNews.net survey, it was the deadliest store shooting since May, when a racist white gunman shot 10 black people in a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.
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“We’re a few days before Thanksgiving,” said Leo Kosinski, the public information officer for the Chesapeake Police Department. “It is simply an all-round bad time, just for everyone involved — especially for the victims. That is terrible.”
In the White House, President Joe Biden has endorsed the recent mass shooting in America.
“As a result of another terrible and senseless act of violence, there are now even more tables across the country that will have free seats this Thanksgiving,” Biden said in a statement. “There are now more families who are experiencing the worst losses and pain imaginable.”
The first reports of gunfire at Walmart Supercenter were logged at 10:12 PM on Tuesday, and when police arrived minutes later, the gunman was already dead, said Mark Solesky, Chesapeake Police Chief.
He confirmed that the employee died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Chesapeake police confirm a Walmart employee killed 6 people and injured four
Both the FBI and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives helped with the investigation, authorities confirmed.
“I’m devastated by the senseless act of violence that took place in our city last night,” said Chesapeake Mayor Rick West, who recently tested positive for Covid, in a statement released Wednesday. “Chesapeake is a tight-knit community and we’re all devastated by this news. Together, we will support each other during this time. Please keep us in your prayers.”
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin ordered that flags be raised with half a staff in memory of the victims.
“Our hearts break with the Chesapeake community this morning,” he said in a tweet on Wednesday. “I have been in contact with law enforcement throughout the morning and have made all resources available as this investigation continues. Horrible acts of violence have no place in our communities.”
Senator Mark Warner, D-Va., tweeted: “I was ill about reports of another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake. I will be following developments closely.”
Meanwhile, a person who claimed to have been in the baking department when the “fireworks” broke out shared footage of the episodes in a live Facebook video.
“People left, bro,” said the person in the video. “In the corridor. I just walked out of the corridor, bro.”
Cnnbreakingnews.net contacted the video’s poster for more information and hasn’t been able to verify the account yet.
The deadly mass shooting in Chesapeake took place just a few days after a gunman stormed into an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado and opened fire. Five were killed and 19 others were injured before he was dampened by patrons.
Earlier this month, three members of the University of Virginia soccer team were fatally shot and two others were injured by a former teammate, police said.
“We are shocked by this tragic event at our Chesapeake, Virginia store,” a Walmart spokesperson said in a statement. “We pray for those affected, the community and our employees.”
What happened in Chesapeake shocked other Walmart stores nearby.
Jasmine Copeland, who works at the Virginia Beach store, said her manager had tears in her eyes as he held a morning meeting to talk about the massacre.