CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — A gunman opened fire at a Walmart in Virginia late Tuesday, killing six people, police said, in the country’s second high-profile mass murder in days. The attacker is also dead.
The Chesapeake store is now safe and will likely be closed for several days pending the investigation, Officer Leo Kosinski said in the early hours Wednesday.
It was unclear who the shooter was and what his motive might be.
“I am devastated by the senseless act of violence that took place in our city late last night,” Mayor Rick W. West said in a statement posted to the city’s Twitter account. “Chesapeake is a close-knit community and we are all devastated by this news.”
A database maintained by The Associated Press, USA Today, and Northeastern University that tracks every mass murder in America since 2006 shows that this year was particularly bad. There have been 40 mass murders in the US so far this year, second to the 45 for all of 2019. The database defines a mass murder as at least four people killed, not counting the killer.
The Walmart attack came three days after a person opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado, killing five and wounding 17. Earlier this year, the country was rocked by the deaths of 21 when a gunman stormed an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
Tuesday’s shooting also brought back memories of another at a Walmart in 2019, when a gunman who police say was aimed at Mexicans opened fire at a store in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people.
Kosinski said he couldn’t say how the gunman died, but he didn’t think police fired any shots.
The shooting appeared to have stopped by the time police arrived at the store in Chesapeake, Virginia’s second-largest city, adjacent to the coastal communities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
Mike Kafka, a spokesman for Sentara Healthcare, said in a text message that five patients from the Walmart were being treated at Norfolk General Hospital. Your terms were not immediately available.
Walmart tweeted early Wednesday that it was “shocked by this tragic event.”
US Senator Mark Warner said in a tweet that he was “disgusted by reports of another mass shooting, this time at a Chesapeake Walmart.”
State Senator Louise Lucas echoed Warner’s sentiments, tweeting that she was “absolutely heartbroken that America’s most recent mass shooting took place at a Walmart in my district.”
https://www.wane.com/top-stories/police-6-people-and-assailant-dead-in-walmart-shooting/ Police: 6 people and attackers killed in Walmart shooting