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A Walmart employee claims the co-worker accused of a horrific mass shooting at a Chesapeake, Virginia store had “issues” with some other co-workers and was “laughing” when he opened fire on his victim.
Six people were killed when a disgruntled male store worker opened fire inside the break room of a Sam’s Circle store around 10pm on Tuesday.
The gunman, who has since been identified as Andre Bing, opened fire with a pistol before turning the gun on himself, police said.
A witness, who has not been named, told local network 10 On Your Side that 14 employees were sitting in a meeting room for a shift when the shooting happened.
He said the group of workers were waiting to learn their duties for the shift when the suspect started shooting.
The employee, who had only been working at the store for five days, said he believed the shooting was planned because the perpetrator was reportedly having “issues” with other managers at the branch.
He appeared to target other managers in the shooting and was heard laughing at one point during the attack, he claimed.
“It doesn’t look real until you can feel the gun go off,” he said.
“I will never go back to that store again. I can’t, I can’t even leave my front door.”
Walmart employee Briana Tyler, who was unharmed in the attack, told Good Morning America that the gunman didn’t say a word when he entered the break room and opened fire.
“I looked up and my manager just opened the door and he just opened fire,” he said.
He added that the suspect did not appear to be targeting specific individuals but only the first person “in his sights.”
“He literally started shooting all over the break room and I saw multiple people drop to the floor, where they were trying to duck for cover or they got hurt,” he said.
“He didn’t say a word, he didn’t say anything… He just came to the corner and started shooting.
“The first person that was in his line of sight, he shot him dead and the next thing you know, he started rigging the whole break room, but he didn’t say a word.”
Six Walmart employees were killed in the attack, including Lorenzo Gamble, Brian Pendleton, Kelly Pyle, Randall Blevins and Tyneka Johnson. The sixth victim, a 16-year-old boy from Chesapeake, has not been publicly named because he is a minor.
At least six surviving victims were taken to local hospitals for further treatment, with three still hospitalized as of Wednesday morning.
The identities of the victims have not been made public but the family of 21-year-old activist Tyneka Johnson confirmed she was killed in the attack.
In a heartbreaking Facebook post late Tuesday night, Johnson’s family pleaded for help to find out what happened to her.
Hours later, they confirmed that he had been shot dead.
Officials have not confirmed whether the gunman “targeted” his victims or fired at random, with the motive for the attack unknown.
Kevin Harper, a man who identified himself as a store employee, posted a Facebook Live video from outside the store Tuesday night, where he claimed he had just left the break room when “a manager “walked in” and started spraying. “.
In the video, he claims he had a near miss with the gunman because he left the break room during the gunfight.
“I just came out of the break room, the manager comes in, starts locking people in there, starts shooting, bro. The manager came, started dumping, people. As soon as I got out of the break room, he walked in, man… that’s wild,” he says in the video.
Law enforcement at the scene of the mass shooting
Mr Harper claimed it was “one of the managers” and other “accomplices” who died in the attack.
“It’s wild, though, it was the manager, one of the managers,” he says.
“Blowed the guy’s brains and everything … he came in and just started spraying,” he added.
“Sadly, though, we’ve lost a few of our allies, I don’t know how many.”
Chesapeake police released new information about the shooting at a news conference Wednesday morning.
Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Soleski said law enforcement received the first 911 call about the shooting at 10:12 p.m. Tuesday.
The first officers arrived on the scene two minutes later at 10.14pm and entered the shop two minutes later at 10.16pm.
Officers found the suspect dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and declared the scene safe, Chief Soleski said.
After searching the suspect’s home, Chief Soleski said there was “no ongoing risk to the public”.
Police said the attacker used a pistol in the attack but did not release any further details about the murder weapon — including the exact make and model and whether it was legally purchased and registered to the suspect.
Multiple law enforcement agencies joined the investigation, including Virginia Beach police, the Chesapeake Police Department and Washington’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
It comes days before Thanksgiving when shoppers likely stocked up on products ahead of the holiday season.
Walmart released a statement early Wednesday saying it was “shocked” by the incident inside one of its stores.
“We are praying for those affected, the community and our partners,” the company said.
“We’re working closely with law enforcement, and we’re focused on supporting our allies.”
President Joe Biden and several Virginia lawmakers released statements condemning the latest spate of gun violence to tear apart a community in America.
The massacre comes days after a gunman opened fire inside an LGBT+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Saturday night.
Five people were killed and 17 others were wounded Saturday night when suspected gunman Anderson Lee Aldrich opened fire inside Club Q in Colorado Springs.
The carnage ended when members of the Veer Club tackled the gunman to the ground and held him until the police arrived on the scene.
The five people killed in the attack were Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Kelly Loving, Ashley Pugh and Raymond Vance.
It came after another mass shooting in the state of Virginia on Nov. 13, when three star University of Virginia football players were shot and killed while returning to campus from a field trip.
Fellow student and former football player Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., 22, allegedly opened fire on the bus.
Lavelle Davis Jr., De’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler were killed in the attack, while two others were injured but survived.
Mr. Jones was arrested the next day and charged with murder and other charges.
In 2019, a Walmart store was also the site of another horrific mass shooting.
A total of 23 people were killed in a mass shooting at a store in El Paso, Texas.