6 People and Assailant Dead in Walmart Shooting

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A law enforcement investigator wears a protective covering as they work the scene of a mass shooting at a Walmart, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, in Chesapeake, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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A shooter opened fire at a Walmart in Virginia, leaving six people dead, police said, in the country’s second high-profile mass killing in a handful of days. The assailant is also dead.

The store in Chesapeake was busy just before the shooting Tuesday night with people stocking up ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, a shopper told a local TV station.

Officer Leo Kosinski couldn’t say how the shooter died but said that he didn’t believe police fired shots. It was not clear who the shooter was or what their motive might be.

“I am devastated by the senseless act of violence that took place late last night in our city,” Mayor Rick W. West said in a statement posted on the city’s Twitter account Wednesday. “Chesapeake is a tightknit community and we are all shaken by this news.”

Joetta Jeffery told CNN that she received text messages from her mother who was inside the store when the shots were fired. Her mother, Betsy Umphlett, was not injured.

“I’m crying, I’m shaking,” Jeffery said. “I had just talked to her about buying turkeys for Thanksgiving, then this text came in.”

A database run by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University that tracks every mass killing in America going back to 2006 shows this year has been especially bad. The U.S. has now had 40 mass killings so far this year, second to the 45 that occurred for all of 2019. The database defines a mass killing as at least four people killed, not including the killer.

The attack at the Walmart came three days after a person opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado, killing five people and wounding 17. Earlier in the year, the country was shaken by the deaths of 21 when a gunman stormed an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Tuesday’s shooting also brought back memories of another at a Walmart in 2019, when a gunman police say was targeting Mexicans opened fire at a store in El Paso, Texas, and killed 22 people.

The shooting had apparently stopped when police arrived at the store in Chesapeake, said Kosinski, the police official. The city is Virginia’s second-largest and lies next to the seaside communities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

Mike Kafka, a spokesman for Sentara Healthcare, said in a text message that five patients from the Walmart were being treated at Norfolk General Hospital. Their conditions weren’t immediately available.

One man was seen wailing at a hospital after learning that his brother was dead, and others shrieked as they left a conference center set up as a family reunification center, The Virginian-Pilot reported.

Camille Buggs, a former Walmart employee, told the paper she went to the conference center seeking information about her former coworkers.

“You always say you don’t think it would happen in your town, in your neighborhood, in your store — in your favorite store and that’s the thing that has me shocked,” said Buggs, 58, of Chesapeake.

Walmart tweeted early Wednesday that it was “shocked at this tragic event.”

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner said in a tweet that he was “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 latest mass shooting took place in a Walmart in my district.”

(AP)

4 COMMENTS

  1. These shootings simply have to stop once & for all.
    Time for sleepy joe to get lost, and for President Donald Trump שליט”א to make an immediate come back and restore law & order once & for all.

  2. @147, did you read the article?

    It mentions that 2022 has the second-most mass shootings of any year in the study, just behind 2019.

    What makes you think DJT would be able to stop this?

  3. having more armed civilians (level-headed people) would certainly help prevent the death toll numbers from being so high after every mass shooting

    and yes, as a general rule republicans are better at this sort of thing than democrats

  4. Meh, this story is already being suppressed in the news, now that we know the shooter is black. And the last shooting has already disappeared, since the shooter is from the same demographic as the victims. If it can’t be portrayed as some sort of “hate crime”, and the blame can’t be put on Republicans and/or “white supremacists”, then the news industry is not interested.