San Francisco Chronicle
Walmart employee kills 6 at store
CHESAPEAKE, Va. — A Walmart manager opened fire on fellow employees in the break room of a Virginia store, killing six people in the country's second high-profile mass shooting in four days, police and witnesses said Wednesday.
The gunman, who apparently shot himself, was dead when officers found him, police said. There was no clear motive for the shooting, which also left at least six people wounded, including one critically.
The store in Chesapeake, Virginia's second-largest city, was busy just before the attack Tuesday night as people stocked up ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, a shopper told a local TV station.
Employee Briana Tyler said the overnight stocking team of 15 to 20 people had just gathered in the break room to go over the morning plan. She said the meeting was about to start, and a team leader said: “All right guys, we have a light night ahead of us,” when another team leader, 31year-old Andre Bing, turned around and opened fire on the staff.
“It is by the grace of God that a bullet missed me,” Tyler said. “I saw the smoke leaving the gun, and I literally watched bodies drop. It was crazy.”
Officials said on the city's Twitter account that three of the dead, including Bing, were found in the break room.
One of the slain victims was found near the front of the store. Three others were taken to hospitals where they died of their
Walmart said in a statement that Bing was an overnight team leader and had been with the company since 2010.
Tyler, who worked with Bing just the night before, said he did not aim at anyone specific. “He was just shooting all throughout the room. It didn't matter who he hit.”
Tyler, who started at Walmart two months ago, said she never had a negative encounter with Bing, but others told her that he was “the manager to look out for.” She said Bing had a history of writing people up for no reason.
Chesapeake Police Chief Mark G. Solesky said Bing used a pistol, and police said later that he had multiple magazines. Solesky could not confirm whether the victims were all employees.
Tuesday night's shooting also brought back memories of another at a Walmart in 2019, when a gunman who targeted Mexicans opened fire at a store in El Paso, Texas, and killed 22 people.
A database run by the Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University that tracks every mass killing in America going back to 2006 shows that the U.S. has now had 40 mass killings so far in 2022.
That compares with 45 for all of 2019, the highest year in the database, which defines a mass killing as at least four people killed, not including the killer.
According to the database, more than a quarter of the mass killings have occurred since Oct. 21, spanning eight states and claiming 51 lives. Nine of those 11 incidents were shootings.
President Biden tweeted that he and the first lady were grieving for the victims' families.
“We mourn for those who will have empty seats at their Thanksgiving table because of these tragic events — we must take greater action.”