Multiple fatalities as ‘manager’ opens fire at Walmart store in Virginia

US

Several people have died and others injured after a Walmart manager allegedly opened fire at a store in Virginia, witnesses have said.

It happened in the city of Chesapeake, with police called shortly after 10pm local time, spokesman officer Leo Kosinski said.

“Chesapeake Police confirm an active shooter incident with fatalities at the Walmart on Sam’s Circle. The shooter is deceased,” the City of Chesapeake tweeted.

Virginia police respond to the scene of the fatal shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake. Pic: WAVY-TV 10 via AP
Image:
Pic: WAVY-TV 10 via AP

A witness in a Walmart uniform, called Kevin Harper, claimed he left a staffroom which the suspect, who he said was a manager at the store, then entered and opened fire.

“Sadly, though, we lost a few of our associates, I don’t know how many,” he said in a Facebook Live from the scene.

One woman told WAVY-TV that her brother, a 20-year-old employee, was shot just 10 minutes after arriving at work.

The number of people killed was not clear, but Mr Kosinski said “less than 10, right now” were dead.

More on Virginia

Senator Louise Lucas tweeted: “I am 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.”

A number of people were also injured and Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, in the nearby city of Norfolk, was reported to be treating five victims.

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Several dead at Walmart shooting

Mr Kosinski said police believe the shooting happened inside the store but one person was found dead outside the building.

It is not known if the shooter died of self-inflicted injuries.

Mr Kosinski added that no shots were fired by police “to his knowledge”.

Read more:
There are mass shootings elsewhere – but America’s problem with guns stands alone

The City of Chesapeake Twitter account tweeted: “A family reunification site is set up at the Chesapeake Conference Center (700 Conference Center Drive). This site is only for immediate family members or the emergency contact of those who may have been in the building.”

Senator Mark Warner tweeted: “Sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake. I’ll be monitoring developments closely.”

Walmart Inc said it was “shocked” at the events in its store.

The company tweeted: “We are shocked at this tragic event at our Chesapeake, Virginia store. We’re praying for those impacted, the community and our associates. We’re working closely with law enforcement, and we are focused on supporting our associates.”

The Walmart in Chesapeake is a ‘supercenter’, which means it sells groceries and other products. There are more than 3,500 Walmart supercenters in the US.

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