The suspect is dead. Thankfully, at least seven other people were able to escape before the shooting escalated.
“We are confirming that 7 people have died from last night’s shooting at Walmart on Sam’s Circle,” the City of Chesapeake tweeted this morning.
A police spokesman told CNN authorities were aware of multiple reports that the shooter was a Walmart employee. He declined to confirm those reports, saying they were not yet confirmed.
The shooting at the Walmart Supercenter was reported to police shortly after 10 p.m., according to a news briefing by Officer Leo Kosinski of the Chesapeake Police Department.
The shooter is believed to be inside the store, according to a police dispatcher. One person was found deceased outside the store, according to Kosinki
Five victims were treated by Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, according to a spokesperson, but they did not release any further information on their current conditions.
When asked how the shooter died, Kosinski said that he didn’t know. He also told reporters that he doesn’t think the gunman was shot by police. It’s unclear if any of the victims or attacker were employees.
Following prayers for the victims, Vice President Joe Biden released a statement expressing his sadness and offering assistance.
“I am devastated by the senseless act of violence that took place late last night in our City,” Chesapeake Mayor Rick West said in a statement Wednesday morning. “My prayers are with all those affected — the victims, their family, their friends, and their coworkers,” he said. He thanked first responders for taking “quick actions” to help everyone involved in the tragedy.
After the news was announced, “Chesapeake is a tightknit community, and everyone is shaken. Together we will support each other throughout this difficult time,” West said.
After a shooting at a Walmart location in Chesapeake, U.S. Senator Mark Warner sent this tweet: “Sickened by the reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake. I’ll be monitoring developments closely.”
The city declared a reunification site for emergency contact family members or immediate family at the Chesapeake Conference Center.
“It’s sad. We’re less than a week before Thanksgiving,” Kosinski said, adding, “We just want the thing to be over for everybody involved. It’s a bad time for everyone—especially the victims. This is horrible.”
Walmart wants you to know that they are thinking of everyone affected by this tragedy, and that they are cooperating with law enforcement and supporting their employees.
A company spokesperson issued the following statement in response to a recent tragic event at their Chesapeake, Virginia store. “We’re praying for those impacted, the community and our associates.”