(CHESAPEAKE, Va.) — A gunman shot dead six people Tuesday night at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Va., before turning the gun on himself, according to sources and local police.
Law enforcement sources told ABC News that preliminary information indicates the shooter went into the break room and opened fire on people before shooting himself. The suspect was an employee of that store and possibly a manager, the sources said.
The Chesapeake Police Department confirmed seven deaths from the shooting, including the shooter. The suspect is believed to be a current employee and appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.
This is how the news develops. All Easter times:
Nov. 23 at 9:28 am EST
Employee tells how he hid during filming
Walmart employee Kevin Harper told ABC News he arrived at work early Tuesday night. He was sitting in the break room when he said something didn’t feel right – so he left.
Moments later, Harper said he heard about three or four muffled gunshots and ran into a hanger to hide.
“I can’t tell you how long I hid there. Time just stopped at that moment,” he said.
He said he then ran as fast as he could out of the staff entrance. On his way out, he said he saw two people on the ground, including a woman covered in blood.
“I’m just praying for my Walmart family,” Harper said.
Nov. 23 at 9:15 a.m. EST
“Very, very proud of the response,” says the city manager
Chesapeake City manager Chris Price said Wednesday he was “very, very proud of the response of our public safety team” following the mass shooting at a Walmart.
“You hope that day like this never comes, but you train for it,” Price said during a press conference. “We practice, we talk about it, we debate, we learn lessons from other places, we try to put those lessons to good use in the hope that those lessons never have to be put to good use.”
Price described Chesapeake as a “wonderful place” where the community comes together “in good times” and “in bad times.”
“I know it pains us all to be together today in this day of incredible tragedy and unimaginable sadness,” he added.
Price then read a statement from Chesapeake Mayor Rick West, who tested positive for COVID-19 and was unable to attend the press conference.
“I am devastated by the senseless act of violence that took place in our city late yesterday,” Price quoted West as saying. “My prayers are with all those affected – the victims, their families, their friends and their staff. I am grateful for the quick action taken by our first responders who rushed to the scene. Chespeake is a close-knit community and we are all shocked by this news. Together we will support each other during this time. Please keep us in your prayers.”
Both the mayor and city council were fully briefed on the shooting and the response, Price said.
Nov. 23 at 8:52 a.m. EST
Seven people died and four others were injured, police said
In addition to the seven fatalities, four people were injured in the shooting at a Chesapeake Walmart on Tuesday night, police said.
“As our investigation continues, we are pleased to report the following: six victims have died, four victims are in area hospitals of currently unknown conditions and the suspect is dead from what we believe is a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” he said Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky said during a news conference Wednesday morning.
While police believe the suspect was a current employee at the store, Solesky declined to confirm whether the victims were all employees. He told reporters it was unclear whether the shooting was a targeted or random attack.
Nov. 23 at 8:42 a.m. EST
Gunman may have been a store manager, sources say
Preliminary information indicates a gunman entered the break room of a Chesapeake Walmart and opened fire on people before shooting himself, law enforcement sources told ABC News.
The suspect was an employee of this store and possibly a manager, according to the sources.
Law enforcement sources also told ABC News that authorities are investigating whether the shooting was a case of workplace violence.
Nov. 23 at 8:24 am EST
Police confirm the suspect who died was an employee
The suspect in Tuesday night’s mass shooting at the Walmart in Sam’s Circle in Chesapeake is believed to be a current employee and appears to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky.
“We have reason to believe that there is no risk to the public at this time,” Soleksy said during a news conference on Wednesday morning. “We cannot tell you the identity of the shooter because his next of kin have not been notified.”
Police received the first 911 call at 10:12 p.m. local time. Officers were on the scene within two minutes and entered the store at 10:16 p.m. local time, where they found the deceased suspect and several victims. According to Soleksy, who described the shooting as “senseless violence,” the scene was declared safe at 11:20 p.m. local time.
“This investigation is ongoing, so there is no clear motive at this time,” he told reporters. “We will process this scene for days.”
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