Gunman who killed six in Chesapeake Walmart shooting has been identified as a disgruntled worker

The shooter who allegedly killed six victims in a mass shooting at a Walmart store in Chesapeake, Va., before turning the gun on himself, has now been identified as a disgruntled store employee.

The suspect, who has not been named, is accused of opening fire on co-workers inside the Sam’s Circle store break room around 10 p.m. Tuesday night.

Six victims were killed in the massacre before the assailant shot and killed himself with his own pistol, police said.

Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky confirmed at a press conference Wednesday morning that the suspect was a store clerk but would not reveal his identity because his next of kin has not yet been notified.

The identities of the victims have also not been released, with authorities refusing to confirm whether any of those killed also worked at the Walmart store.

It is also currently unclear whether the shooter “targeted” his victims or fired randomly, as the motive for the attack is unknown.

Law enforcement received the first 911 call about the shooting at 10:12 p.m. Tuesday, Chief Solesky said.

The first officers arrived on the scene two minutes later at 10:14 p.m. and entered the store two minutes later at around 10:16 p.m.

Officers found the suspect dead from self-inflicted gunshot wounds and declared the scene safe, Chief Solesky said.

Six victims were killed in the attack while several others were rushed to hospital.

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

Earlier, authorities said five victims were taken to hospital following the attack. It’s unclear what led to the number change – whether it was a mistake, whether one of the five died from his injuries or whether he has since been released.

Police said the attacker used a pistol in the attack, but did not provide any further details about the murder weapon – including the exact make and model and whether or not it was purchased legally and registered in the name of the suspect.

Law enforcement on the scene of the shooting at Walmart

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Law enforcement at the scene of the Walmart shooting

(The Virginia Pilot)

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

Ahead of Tuesday’s attack, police said the suspect did not appear to have been on law enforcement’s radar.

After a search of his home, Chief Solesky said there was “no continuing risk to the public”.

A police source told CNN the shooting took place in the break room when the suspect began to open fire on his co-workers.

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

In the video, he claimed he nearly missed the shooter as he had just left the break room when gunshots rang out.

“I had just come out of the break room, the manager came over, started picking people up in there, started shooting, bro. The manager came in, started dumping, man. As soon as I left the break room, he went there, man…that’s crazy, he says in the video.

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

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

“He blew people’s brains out and stuff… He came in and just started spraying and shit,” he adds.

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

One of the surviving victims has been identified by his family as a longtime Walmart employee who was shot just minutes after starting his shift.

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

Deborah said she spoke to her brother on a family Zoom call as he arrived at the store – as part of a Thanksgiving tradition.

She then received a call from him around 10:18 p.m. where he told her he had been shot and was being treated by police at the scene.

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

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

Walmart released a statement early Wednesday saying it was “shocked” by the event at one of their stores.

“We pray for those affected, the community and our associates,” the company said.

“We work closely with law enforcement and are focused on supporting our associates.”

Several Virginia lawmakers also issued statements condemning the violence.

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

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

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

Virginia State Senator Louise Lucas said she was “absolutely heartbroken” the mass shooting took place in her Chesapeake District.

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

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

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

The massacre marks just the latest mass shooting to rock America in recent weeks, 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 shooter Anderson Lee Aldrich opened fire inside Club Q in Colorado Springs on Saturday night.

The massacre ended when heroic bystanders tackled the gunman to the ground and held him until police arrived on the scene.

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

It came after another mass shooting in the state of Virginia on Nov. 13, when three star University of Virginia football players were shot and killed as they returned to campus from an outing on field.

Classmate 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 others were injured but survived.

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

In 2019, a Walmart store was also the site of another horror shooting.

A total of 23 people were killed in a mass shooting at a store in the city of El Paso, Texas.

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