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A tragic mass shooting rampage at a Walmart Supercenter in Chesapeake, Virginia resulted in the deaths of at least six employees Tuesday night. The shooter also killed himself, bringing the total death toll to seven just days before Thanksgiving, according to local law enforcement.
Police received a call at 10:12 p.m. on Tuesday alerting them to the deadly event, which occurred just before the Walmart was preparing to close for the night.
According to WAVY 10 News reporter KaMaria Braye, who spoke with an employee who witnessed the massacre, roughly 14 employees were gathering together in a meeting room waiting to receive their duties for the shift when the shooting by another Walmart manager began. The witness told WAVY 10 News she believed the shooting was planned and targeted other Walmart managers.
Meanwhile, police are still investigating to determine a motive, according to a Wednesday morning press conference.
Police Chief Mark Solesky confirmed the gunman was an employee at the Chesapeake Walmart Supercenter and that he used a pistol in the shooting. The identity of the gunman hasn’t yet been released, and authorities are still working to alert the shooter’s next of kin.
Walmart manager kills employees in Virginia mass shooting
Six people have died from their injuries and more remain hospitalized. The gunman died by a self-inflicted wound, according to Chief Solesky.
— Michelle Wolf (@MichelleWolfTV) November 23, 2022
Joetta Jeffrey told CNN her mother Betsy Umphlett, who works at the Walmart, sent her texts from inside the store alerting her that someone was shooting.
“I’m crying, I’m shaking,” Jeffery told CNN. “I had just talked to her about buying turkeys for Thanksgiving, then this text came in.”
While the mother remains in shock, Jeffrey told CNN she was uninjured. Meanwhile, first responders who approached the crime scene witnessed bodies inside the store and one outside the front entrance.
Woman describes deadly attack
In a video posted to The Neighborhood Talk on Instagram, a man and a woman who appeared to be employees of the Chesapeake, Virginia Walmart recounted the terrifying moments.
One woman said she pleaded with the gunman, who told her to leave.
“He waited ‘till everybody was in that motherf*ckin’ break room,” the woman said.
The man recording then asks the woman if she’s OK.
The woman responds, “No, I seen brains,” before breaking down into tears.
In a statement, Walmart gave a response to the tragic event.
“We’re praying for those impacted, the community and our associates. We’re working closely with law enforcement, and we are focused on supporting our associates,” the company said.
The Washington, DC, field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is assisting local police in the investigation.