CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — The Walmart supervisor who shot dead six employees in Virginia appeared to target people and fire at some victims after they were already hit and appeared dead, said a witness who was at the shooting present was started.
Jessica Wilczewski said workers were gathered in a break room at a store to begin their night shift late Tuesday when team leader Andre Bing stepped in and opened fire with a pistol. While another witness described Bing as shooting wildly, Wilczewski said she saw him attack certain individuals.
“The way he acted — he went hunting,” Wilczewski told The Associated Press on Thursday. “The way he looked at people’s faces and the way he did what he did, he chose people.”
At least six people have been killed in a shooting at a Walmart in Virginia, authorities said. (Source: CNN, WTKR, WTVR, TWITTER)
She said she saw him shooting at people who were already on the ground.
“What I do know is that he made sure whoever he wanted dead was dead,” she said. “He went back and shot bodies that were already dead. Play it safe.”
Wilczewski said she only worked at the store for five days and doesn’t know who Bing gets along with or has problems with. She said the fact that she was a new employee may have been why he spared her.
She said that after the shooting started, a colleague who was sitting next to her pulled her under the table to hide. She said that at one point Bing told her to come out from under the table. But when he saw who she was, he said to her, “Jessie, go home.” She said she got up slowly and then ran out of the store.
Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky goes through the timeline of events and what we know about the Walmart shooting. (CNN)
The police are trying to determine a motive. It was the second high-profile mass shooting in four days. The gunman was dead when officers arrived at the store in Chesapeake, Virginia’s second largest city, late Tuesday. Authorities said he appeared to have shot himself.
Police identified the victims as Brian Pendleton, 38; Kelly Pyle, 52; Lorenzo Gamble, 43; and Randy Blevins, 70, all from Chesapeake; and Tyneka Johnson, 22, from nearby Portsmouth. They said the dead included a 16-year-old boy whose name was withheld because of his age.
A Walmart spokesman confirmed in an email that all of the victims worked for the company.
Krystal Kawabata, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Norfolk, Virginia field office, confirmed that the agency is assisting the police with the investigation, but directed all inquiries to the Chesapeake Police Department, the lead investigative agency.
Another Walmart employee, Briana Tyler, said that Bing appeared to have fired at random.
“He just shot all over the room. It didn’t matter who he met,” Briana Tyler, a Walmart employee, told the AP on Wednesday.
Six people were injured in the shooting, which took place just after 10 p.m. as shoppers stocked up ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Police said they believe around 50 people were inside the store at the time.
The shooter was identified as Bing, a 31-year-old team leader who had been employed by Walmart since 2010. Police said he had a handgun and several magazines of ammunition.
Tyler said the night stocking team of 15 to 20 people just gathered in the break room to go through the morning schedule. Another team leader had begun to speak when Bing entered the room and opened fire, both Tyler and Wiczewski said.
Tyler, who started at Walmart two months ago and had worked with Bing just the night before, said she’s never had a negative encounter with him, but others have told her he’s “the manager to watch out for.” She said Bing has texted people for no reason in the past.
The attack marked the second time in just over a week that Virginia had experienced a major shooting. Three University of Virginia football players were fatally shot on a charter bus while returning to campus from a field trip on November 13. Two other students were injured.
The attack on the Walmart came days after a person opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, killing five and wounding 17. Tuesday night’s shooting also brought back memories of another Walmart attack in 2019, when a gunman targeting Mexicans opened fire at a store in El Paso, Texas, killing 23 people.
A database maintained by The Associated Press, USA Today, and Northeastern University that tracks every mass murder in America since 2006 shows that in 2022 so far, the US has recorded 40 mass murders. This compares to 45 for all of 2019, the highest year in the database that defines mass murder as four or more people killed, not counting the killer.
Earlier this year, the country was rocked by the deaths of 21 people when a gunman stormed an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
Associated Press writers Denise Lavoie in Chesapeake and news researchers Rhonda Shafner and Randy Herschaft in New York contributed to this report.
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