Walmart employee kills 6 at store in Virginia, police say
A Walmart employee killed six people late Tuesday in a mass shooting at a store in Virginia, authorities said.
Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky said at a press conference early Wednesday that six people were killed and four others were taken to area hospitals, where their conditions are unknown.
He said the shooter was an employee of Walmart and died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He identified the shooter as male but declined to release his name, as authorities still need to notify his next of kin.
Solesky also said the shooter used a pistol in the attack.
The police chief said the department’s 911 dispatch center received the first call of a shooting at 10:12 p.m. and the first officers arrived on the scene within two minutes. They entered the Walmart about two minutes after that.
Solesky said the scene was declared safe by 11:20 p.m.
He said the Chesapeake police SWAT team executed a search warrant at the suspect’s residence and “cleared the house.” He said officials could not confirm a motive for the shooter.
Solesky added that the Walmart will be closed while the police and FBI process the scene.
Mayor Rick West said in a statement that he is “devastated by the senseless act of violence” in the city and his prayers are with the victims and their families, friends and coworkers. He also said he is grateful for the “quick actions” of first responders.
“Chesapeake is a tightknit community and we are all shaken by this news,” he said. “Together, we will support each other throughout this time.”
Walmart said in a tweet that company officials are working closely with law enforcement and are focused on supporting its associates.
“We are shocked at this tragic event at our Chesapeake, Virginia store. We’re praying for those impacted, the community and our associates,” the retail giant said.
Leo Kosinski, the public information officer for Chesapeake police, said in a news briefing that police received a report of a shooting at the Walmart at 10:12 p.m. and found multiple fatalities and people injured in the next 30 to 40 minutes.
He told MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle that officers and the fire department were able to provide “tactical life-saving measures” to those injured.
The incident is the second high-profile mass shooting in the past few days, following one at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo., that killed five people and injured 18 others.
Updated at 9:04 a.m.