‘Missing my baby’: Six dead in Virginia Walmart shooting

Walmart mass shooting

This combination of photos, provided by the Chesapeake, Virginia Police Department, shows from the top left Tyneka Johnson, Brian Pendleton and Randy Blevins, and from the bottom left Kellie Pyle and Lorenzo Gamble, who were identified by Chesapeake Police Department as victims of a shooting that took place place late Tuesday at a Walmart in Chesapeake. Chesapeake Police via AP

CHESAPEAKE, Va. – A custodian and father of two children. A mother with wedding plans. A cheerful guy. A 16-year-old helps his family.

That’s how friends and family described some of the six people who died at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, when a manager opened fire with a handgun just before an employee meeting. Five adults have been identified, while authorities have not released the name of the sixth person killed, a 16-year-old boy.

Family and friends dressed in white paid tribute to the teen Thursday night during a vigil in the Walmart parking lot. His friends told The Virginian-Pilot it was hard to believe he was gone.

Family friend Rosy Perez told The New York Times that the teen attended a local high school while working nights to help his family.

“He wanted to help a little bit,” Perez said. “He was a very good kid.”

Here are some details about those who were lost:

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Kellie Pyle, 52, from Chesapeake

Pyle was remembered as a generous and kind person, a mother who had wedding plans in the near future.

“We love her,” said Gwendolyn Bowe Baker Spencer. “She was supposed to marry my son next year. She was a wonderful, kind person – yes she was.

Pyle had adult children in Kentucky who will travel to Virginia in the wake of the tragedy, Spencer said.

Pyle moved back to her native Norfolk in May after reconnecting with her high school sweetheart and recently got a job at the Walmart, her cousin Billy Pillar-Gibson told The Washington Post. He remembered Pyle’s sarcastic sense of humor and called her his best friend.

“We grew up in a crazy family and we understood each other,” he said. “I can’t remember a life without her.”

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Brian Pendleton, 38, of Chesapeake

Pendleton made sure he was on time. Although his janitor shift began at 10:30 p.m., according to his mother, Michelle Johnson, he was in the break room just after 10 p.m. when the shooting began.

“He always came to work early so he would be on time for work,” she told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “He loved his colleagues.”

Pendleton had recently celebrated its 10th anniversary at the store.

His mother said he had no problems at work except with a supervisor, Andre Bing, who was identified as the shooter.

“He just didn’t like my son,” Johnson said. “He would tell me that he (Bing) would give him a hard time.”

Pendleton was born with a congenital brain disorder and grew up in Chesapeake, his mother said.

“He called me yesterday before he went to work,” Johnson said. “I always tell him to call me when he’s done working.”

While getting ready for bed, Johnson received a call from a family friend telling her there was a shooting at the Walmart.

“Brian was a happy guy. Brian loved family. Brian loved friends. He liked to tell jokes,” his mother said. “We’re going to miss him.”

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Lorenzo Gamble, 43, of Chesapeake

Gamble was a night shift custodian and had worked at Walmart for 15 years, The Washington Post reported.

His parents Linda and Alonzo Gamble said he enjoyed spending time with his two sons.

“He just kept to himself and did his job,” said Linda Gamble. “He was the quiet one of the family.”

His mother said Gamble enjoyed going to his 19-year-old’s football games and cheering for the Washington Commanders NFL team.

She posted on Facebook that she is having trouble saying goodbye.

“I miss my baby now, life is not the same without my son,” she wrote.

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Randy Blevins, 70, from Chesapeake

Blevins was a Norfolk Admirals hockey fan and loved taking pictures and collecting coins, daughter Cassandra Yeats told The New York Times.

“He never missed a day at work,” she said. “He loved his family and supported everyone.”

Blevins was a longtime member of the store team setting prices and arranging merchandise. Former colleague Shaundrayia Reese, who said she worked at the store from about 2015 to 2018, spoke fondly of Blevins as “Mr. Randy.”

She said the night shift at the store was “family” and the employees depended on each other.

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Tyneka Johnson, 22, of Portsmouth

Theodore Johnson, 41, told The New York Times his cousin lived with her mother.

“She was young and wanted to make her own money,” he said.

When Johnson attended Western Branch High School, Casheba Cannon taught the student with dreams of college and a supportive family, Cannon told The Washington Post.

“Education came first. Her family did what they had to do to make sure she got help,” Cannon said.

Johnson was willing to work to better herself, but she was also cheerful, helping younger students and “learned” with everyone she encountered at Cannon’s Blessed Tutoring Services, she said. Johnson had a sense of style and a love of music and dance.

‘She was that child. When she was tutored, she was really put together,” Cannon said. “Tyneka was a light in a dark room.”

A makeshift memorial to Johnson was placed in a grassy area outside the Walmart, with the words “Our Hearts are with you” and a basket of flowers.

The commemoration included a cluster of blue, white and gold balloons tied to a tree, alongside a stark yellow line of police tape.

Associated Press news researchers Rhonda Shafner and Randy Herschaft in New York contributed to this report. Kelleher contributed to this report from Honolulu.

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