6 people, presumed dead in Virginia Walmart shooting, police say

CHESAPEAKE, Virginia (AP) – Police say six people and the attacker are dead after a shooting at a Walmart in Virginia. Chesapeake Police Department Officer Leo Kosinski said early Wednesday morning that the store is now safe. The gunman was among those killed, officials said.

Officers responded to a report of a shooting at the Walmart on Sam’s Circle around 10:15 p.m. and as soon as they arrived, they found evidence of a shooting, Chesapeake Officer Leo Kosinski said in a briefing.

Over 35 to 40 minutes, officers found several dead and injured people inside the store and assembled rescue and tactical teams to go inside to tend to the victims, he said.

Police believe there was one gunman, who is dead, he said. They believe the shooting had stopped when police arrived, Kosinski said. He did not have a death count, but said it was “less than 10 at the moment”.

Kosinski said he doesn’t believe police fired any shots, but he couldn’t say if the gunman was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot.

“We are shocked by this tragic event at our store in Chesapeake, Virginia,” Walmart tweeted early Wednesday. “We pray for those affected, the community and our partners. We work closely with law enforcement and we are focused on supporting our employees,” the tweet read.

Mike Kafka, a spokesman for Sentara Healthcare, said in a text that five patients from the Walmart are being treated at Norfolk General Hospital. Their terms were not immediately available.

Chesapeake Mayor Rick West posted a statement on Twitter expressing his condolences:

The shooting in Virginia comes three days after a person opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado, killing five people and injuring 17. That shooter, who is non-binary, was arrested after patrons of the club tackled and beat them. The shooting comes in a year when the country was rocked by the death of 21 in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Tuesday’s shooting also brought back memories of another Walmart shooting in 2019, when a gunman who police say targeted Mexicans opened fire at a store in El Paso, killing 22 people. Walmart had no security guard that day.

U.S. Senator Mark Warner tweeted that he has been “sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake.” State Sen. Louise Lucas echoed Warner’s sentiment tweeting that she was “absolutely heartbroken that America’s last mass shooting happened at a Walmart in my county.”

The Chesapeake Police Department tweeted that a family reunion site has been set up at the Chesapeake Conference Center. This site is only for close family members or the emergency contacts of those who may have been in the building, the tweet said.

Chesapeake is about seven miles south of Norfolk.

Copyright 2022 by Associated Press – All rights reserved.

Leave a Comment