Everything we know about the Walmart Chesapeake mass shooting

Shooter was an employee at the Walmart store on Sam’s Circle in Chesapeake, Virginia

Rachel Sharp
Thursday 24 November 2022 17:09 GMT
'Multiple fatalities' as gunman opens fire at Walmart store, police say
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Six victims have been killed and a gunman is dead following a mass shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, where a store employee reportedly opened fire on his colleagues inside a break room before turning the gun on himself.

The incident unfolded just after 10pm on Tuesday at the superstore on Sam’s Circle.

It comes just days before Thanksgiving when shoppers were likely stocking up on goods ahead of the holiday season.

Walmart confirmed the identity of the alleged gunman - 31-year-old Andre Bing - in a statement to The Independent.

Here’s what we know so far about the mass shooting:

The shooting

Police responded to a 911 call about a shooting at the store at 10.12pm on Tuesday.

The first officers arrived on the scene two minutes later at 10.14pm and entered the store two minutes after that at around 10.16pm.

Officers found the suspect already dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and declared the scene safe, Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky said in a press conference on Wednesday morning.

Several victims were found on the scene, with six victims killed in the attack and several more rushed to hospital with injuries.

Police released this photo of alleged Chesapeake Walmart shooter Andre Bing (City of Chesapeake)

As of Wednesday morning, four victims were still being treated in local hospitals. Their conditions are currently unknown.

Police said that the attacker used a pistol in the attack but released no further details about the murder weapon – including the exact make and model and whether or not it was legally purchased and registered to the suspect.

Following a search of the gunman’s home, Chief Solesky said that there is “no ongoing risk to the public”.

“We are truly saddened that the tragedy that took place in our community last night,” he said, adding that officials are “praying for the friends, families and coworkers” affected by this “senseless violence”.

Multiple law enforcement agencies have joined the investigation including Virginia Beach Police, the Chesapeake Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in Washington.

The gunman

Police have yet to confirm the identity of the gunman, but Walmart released his name to The Independent around midday Wednesday.

“The alleged shooter has been identified as Andre Bing. We can confirm that he was a Walmart associate,” it read. “Andre’s position with the company was overnight team lead and he’s been employed with us since 2010.”

At a press conference hours earlier, authorities confirmed that the gunman was a disgruntled male store employee.

Chief Solesky said at the time that officials would not reveal his identity yet because his next of kin had not been notified but said that he is not believed to have been on police radar prior to the shooting.

Bing was formally named by police in a press release hours later.

The motive for the attack remains unclear.

It is also currently unclear whether or not the gunman “targeted” his victims or carried out the shooting at random.

A law enforcement source told CNN that the employee or former employee opened fire on other workers inside the break room.

Police respond to the scene of a mass shooting at a Walmart store in Chesapeake (AP)

Kevin Harper, a man who identified himself as a store worker, posted a Facebook Live from outside the store on Tuesday night, where he claimed he had just left the break room when “one of the managers” entered “and just started spraying”.

In the video, he claimed he had a near miss with the shooter as he had just left the break room when gunfire erupted.

“I’d just left out of the break room, manager come up in there, started capping people up in there, started shooting, bro. The manager came in, started dumping, man. As soon as I left out the break room he went in there, man... that s*** wild,” he says in the video.

Mr Harper claims it was “one of the managers” and that other “associates” died in the attack.

“It’s wild, though, it was the manager, one of the managers,” he says.

“Blew people’s brains out and everything... He came in and just started spraying and s***,” he adds.

“Sadly, though, we lost a few of our associates, I don’t know how many.”

The victims

In Wednesday’s press conference, police declined to name any of the victims nor confirm whether any of those killed also worked at the Walmart store. They were officially identified at 5pm on Wednesday in a statement from the City of Chesapeake.

One victim, however, was identified early on in the day as 21-year-old Tyneka Johnson, by her family.

In a heartbreaking Facebook post late on Wednesday night, Johnson’s family begged for help in finding out what had happened to her.

“We need help locating my lil cousin. She is an employee at Walmart,” wrote a desperate family member.

“Everyone need to know if she is safe. This post is about helping and locating Tyneka Johnson. No questions. Just help.”

Hours later, the family members posted a photo of the 21-year-old with heartbreak emojis.

One relative confirmed her death to 7NewsDC on Wednesday, describing her as “the nicest person who never bothered anyone”.

A spokesperson for Walmart did not respond to a question from The Independent asking whether the victims were Walmart employees – simply sending a statement saying that they “are shocked at this tragic event” and are “working closely with law enforcement”.

Earlier, authorities said that five victims had been taken to hospital following the attack. It is not clear what led to the change in numbers to four by Wednesday morning – whether this was a mistake, whether one of the five died from their injuries or if they have since been discharged.

One of the surviving victims was identified by his family as a longtime Walmart employee who was shot just minutes after he had started his shift.

The victim, identified as a man in his 50s who had worked at the store for around 20 years, had clocked in for his shift at 10am, his sister Deborah told local outlet WAVY.

Deborah said that she had spoken to her brother on a family Zoom call as he was arriving at the store – as part of a Thanksgiving tradition.

She then received a call from him at around 10.18pm where he told her he had been shot and was being treated by police on the scene.

Lawmakers react

Several Virginia lawmakers have released statements condemning the mass shooting which has left yet another US community reeling from gun violence.

Governor Glenn Youngkin condemned what he described as a “heinous act of violence” in a statement early on Wednesday morning.

“Our hearts break with the community of Chesapeake this morning,” he said.

“I remain in contact with law enforcement officials throughout this morning and have made available any resources as this investigation moves forward. Heinous acts of violence have no place in our communities.”

Virginia state senator Louise Lucas said she was “absolutely heartbroken” that the mass shooting took place in her district of Chesapeake.

“I will not rest until we find the solutions to end this gun violence epidemic in our country that has taken so many lives,” she added.

Senator Mark Warner said he was “sickened” by the reports of the mass shooting and will be “monitoring the developments closely”.

“Sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake,” Mr Warner said in a tweet. “In the meantime, I urge all those in the community to listen to guidance from local law enforcement and stay away from the scene.”

Latest in long line of shootings

The mass shooting marks just the latest to rock America, after a gunman opened fire inside an LGBT+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Saturday night.

Five people were killed and 17 others injured when suspected gunman Anderson Lee Aldrich opened fire inside Club Q in Colorado Springs on Saturday night.

The massacre came to an end when heroic clubgoers tackled the shooter to the ground and detained him until police arrived on the scene.

The five victims killed in that attack were identified as Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh and Raymond Vance.

This came after another mass shooting in the state of Virginia on 13 November, when three star football players from the University of Virginia were shot and killed as they returned to campus from a field trip.

Fellow student and former football player Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., 22, allegedly opened fire on the bus.

Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler were killed in the attack, while two other were injured but survived.

Mr Jones was arrested the following day and charged with murder and other charges.

Back in 2019, a Walmart store was also the site of another horror mass shooting. A total of 23 people were killed in a mass shooting in a store in the city of El Paso, Texas.

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