CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — Several people were killed and injured in a shooting at a Walmart in Virginia on Tuesday night, although the exact numbers were not immediately known, police said. The shooter was among the dead, officials said.
Officers responded to a report of a shooting at the Walmart at Sam’s Circle around 10:15 p.m. and as soon as they arrived they found evidence of a shooting, Chesapeake officer Leo Kosinski said in a briefing.
Over 35 to 40 minutes, officers found several dead and injured inside the store and assembled rescue and tactical teams to go inside and tend to the victims, he said.
Police believe there was one shooter who is dead, he said. They believe the shooting had stopped by the time police arrived, Kosinski said. He didn’t have a death toll but said it was “less than 10 at the moment”.
Kosinski said he doesn’t think police fired shots, but he couldn’t say if the gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot.
“We are shocked by this tragic event at our Chesapeake, Virginia store,” Walmart told WMT.
tweeted early Wednesday. “We are praying for those affected, the community and our staff. We are working closely with law enforcement and are focused on supporting our employees,” the tweet said.
Mike Kafka, a spokesman for Sentara Healthcare, said in a text message that five patients from Walmart are being treated at Norfolk General Hospital. Your terms were not immediately available.
The Virginia shooting came three days after a person opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado, killing five and injuring 17. This non-binary shooter was arrested after guests at the club attacked and hit her. The shootings come as the country was rocked by the deaths of 21 in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Tuesday’s shooting also brought back memories of another shooting at a Walmart in 2019, when a gunman who police said was aiming at Mexicans opened fire at an El Paso store, killing 22 people. Walmart didn’t have a security guard on duty that day.
US Senator Mark Warner tweeted that he was “disgusted by reports of another mass shooting, this time at a Chesapeake Walmart.” State Senator Louise Lucas echoed Warner’s sentiment, tweeting that she was “absolutely heartbroken that America’s recent mass shooting took place at a Walmart in my district.”
The Chesapeake Police Department tweeted that a family reunification facility was being set up at the Chesapeake Conference Center. This page is only for immediate family members or the emergency contact of anyone who may have been in the building, the tweet said.
Chesapeake is about seven miles south of Norfolk.