A Walmart employee went on a shooting rampage killing six people and injuring four others in a Chesapeake, Virginia Walmart store on Tuesday night, officials say.
Police responded to a report of a shooting at the Walmart store at 10.12 pm ET, Leo Kosinski from Chesapeake Police Department told reporters on Tuesday night.
Chief Mark Solesky from the Chesapeake Police Department told a press conference on Wednesday morning that the first officers were on scene within two minutes, and entered the store two minutes later, at 10.16 pm. The scene was declared safe at 11.20 pm, Solesky said.
“When the initial officers got here, they quickly realized it was an active threat situation, and we switched our tactics to an active threat response,” Kosinski said. After entering the building, officers found “multiple fatalities and multiple injuries” with at least one deceased victim found outside the store.
At some point after the shooting, the gunman, who employees say was a store manager, shot himself with a pistol and died by suicide, according to Solesky.
“A little while later, through the course of providing treatment, we were able to establish that we believe that it’s a single shooter and that shooter is deceased,” Kosinski added in a press conference held just hours after the shooting.
Solesky said that four people were being treated in area hospitals but he could not provide any details about their conditions.
Minutes after the shooting took place, one employee, still wearing their Walmart uniform and name badge, posted a video on Facebook Live discussing what had happened. The video shows a heavy police presence outside the store and many of the employees in distress at what they had just witnessed.
One woman speaking off camera appeared to be in tears and said she was unable to call her family because she had left her phone inside the building. “I just played dead,” she said.
“Just left the break room, the manager came in there and started shooting,” the person recording the video told the camera. “Sadly though, we lost some of our associates, I don’t know how many.”
When some of the other employees asked the man livestreaming why he thought the manager had conducted the shooting, he said: “I couldn’t tell y’all, I don’t know,” later adding “he plotted this shit, you could tell he plotted this.”
Among the people killed in the attack was a 31-year-old janitor, according to people speaking on the Facebook livestream.
A woman told local TV station WAVY-TV that her brother, a 20-year-old employee of the shop, was shot just 10 minutes after signing on for work.
Virginia Sen. Mark Warner tweeted that he was “sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting.”
“I am devastated by the senseless act of violence that took place late last night in our City,” Chesapeake Mayor Rick West said in a statement posted online. “Chesapeake is a tight knit community and we are all shaken by this news. Together, we will support each other throughout this time.”
Democratic Virginia state Senator L. Louise Lucas, tweeted that was “absolutely heartbroken that America’s latest mass shooting took place in a Walmart in my district in Chesapeake, Virginia tonight. I will not rest until we find the solutions to end this gun violence epidemic in our country that has taken so many lives.”
Virginia Gov. Glenn youngkin, a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, also tweeted about the incident, but failed to use the words “shooting” or “gunman” in his message
In a statement, Walmart said it was “shocked” at the reports of a mass shooting in Chesapeake, adding that it was “working closely with law enforcement, and we are focused on supporting our associates.”