A Walmart employee opened fire and killed six people in a Virginia Walmart store on Tuesday night, Chesapeake police said. The incident, which occurred just days before the busy Black Friday shopping holiday, marks the latest act of violence to occur in a Walmart store.
The suspect was also discovered to be dead from what police believe to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Police Department Chief Mark Solesky told reporters in a Wednesday press conference. He also confirmed that the shooter was a Walmart employee but did not disclose his identity.
The city of Chesapeake confirmed the incident on its Twitter account, which provides official updates for the city as well as Chesapeake police. The investigation is ongoing.
FN has reached out to Walmart for a comment. In an early Wednesday tweet, the retailer said it was “shocked” at the news.
“We’re praying for those impacted, the community and our associates,” Walmart wrote. “We’re working closely with law enforcement, and we are focused on supporting our associates.”
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon also posted a statement to LinkedIn on Wednesday.
“The devastating news of last night’s shooting at our Chesapeake, VA store at the hands of one of our associates has hit our Walmart family hard. My heart hurts for our associates and the Chesapeake community who have lost or injured loved ones,” he wrote.
The shooting, which also left four people in the hospital, marks yet another violent shooting occurring in a U.S. Walmart store.
In August 2019, 23 people died after a shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. A few days prior, a disgruntled employee at a Mississippi Walmart store killed two co-workers and injured a police officer. A few months later, two men and one woman were fatally shot in a Walmart parking lot in Duncan, Okla.
“I am devastated by the senseless act of violence that took place late last night in our city,” said Chesapeake Mayor Rick West said in a statement. “My prayers are with all those affected — the victims, their family, their friends and their coworkers.”
Just days ago, five people were killed in another mass shooting in an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo.