Five of the six people who were killed in a Virginia Walmart on Tuesday night after the store manager started shooting and then killed himself have been named by authorities.
The names of five of the dead people were given in a news release from the City of Chesapeake on Wednesday. They were Lorenzo Gamble, Brian Pendleton, Kellie Pyle, Randall Blevins, and Tyneka Johnson.
The city said that the sixth person who died was a 16-year-old boy whose name will not be released because he was a minor.
CNN was told by a company representative that all six of the victims worked for Walmart.
“The City of Chesapeake has always been known as the ‘City That Cares,’ and now, more than ever, we know that our City will show up and care for those who need it most,” the release said. “Please pray with us for the family and friends of these people who have died in our community.”
The shooter was identified as 31-year-old Andre Bing by the city earlier on Wednesday. They said he was “armed with one handgun and had multiple magazines on his person.”
Walmart said in a statement that Bing had been working there as a “overnight team lead” since 2010.
Police said that on Wednesday, the shooter’s past was being looked into to find out what could have led to the attack.
Chesapeake Mayor Rick West said in a video message posted Wednesday night, “Law enforcement will do what they can, and I promise you, more information will come.”
The person who is suspected of shooting up an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs will be held without bond while prosecutors work to come up with formal charges.
The violence is yet another mass shooting in a place like a school, hospital, or store that is usually thought to be safe.
This month, a 22-year-old student at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville is said to have opened fire on other students, killing three of them on a bus coming back from a field trip to Washington, DC. This happened just 170 miles west of Chesapeake.
Five people were killed and 19 others were hurt last weekend when a 22-year-old man opened fire at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The Gun Violence Archive says that there have been more than 600 mass shootings in the US so far this year. Both the non-profit and CNN agree that a mass shooting is when four or more people, not including the shooter, are shot.
Manager came in and ‘just started spraying’
Police say that at least 50 people were in the Walmart when the fight started. Some of them have started telling people in public how a quiet night turned into a terrible tragedy.
At 10:12 p.m. on Tuesday, the killing spree began, less than an hour before the Walmart Supercenter was supposed to close.
The first officer was there within two minutes, and they went into the store around 10:16 p.m., which is about two minutes after that.
Kevin Harper, another worker, said that a coworker came into the break room and started shooting.
Harper said in a Facebook Live video, “I just forgot about the break room. That’s where the shooter starts killing people.” His Facebook page no longer has the video, but it has been shared again on social media.
Harper said, “He just walked in and started spraying.”
Police said that at least six people who were hurt were taken to local hospitals to get care.
Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky said that four people who were hurt in the shooting were still in the hospital as of Wednesday morning. Dr. Michael Hooper, vice president and chief medical officer at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, said that at least two people were in very bad shape.
The gunman shot Jalon Jones, 24, several times on Tuesday, according to his mother, Kimberly Shupe, who spoke to CNN affiliate WTKR. Shupe talked to reporters Wednesday in front of the hospital where her son was in stable condition in the intensive care unit.
Witnesses say that a manager “started capping people” at a Virginia Walmart, which caused workers to run away.
The city of Chesapeake tweeted, “Three people, including the shooter, were found dead in the store’s break room.” “One dead person was found near the front of the store. Three more people were taken to local hospitals to get more care, but they died from their injuries.
Jeromy Basham was at Walmart on Tuesday night to buy tablecloths. He said he heard gunshots, and people started running out of the store a few seconds later.
In a video he posted to his Facebook page, he said, “It sounded as loud as hell, but there were so many of the same sound that I don’t know what the hell else it could have been.”
Basham hid for a while after employees told him, “Don’t come out,” but he was able to get outside safely in the end.
Once he got outside, he saw responding police officers enter the store with heavy body armour and long rifles while other witnesses and employees stood in the parking lot. In more videos taken by Basham, dozens of emergency workers can be seen at the scene.
‘This one is especially painful’
Betsy Umphlett, Joetta Jeffery’s mother, sent her a text message from inside the store telling her that bullets were flying.
Jeffery told CNN, “I’m crying and my hands are shaking.” “I just told her I was going to buy turkeys for Thanksgiving, and then I got this text.”
Jeffery said that her mother is not hurt, but that the tragedy has left her very upset.
At the Chesapeake Conference Center, a centre was set up to help families find out what happened to their loved ones who were at the store. Officials from the city have asked that only family members or people who can help in an emergency go to the center.
John Furner, the president and CEO of Walmart US, said that the mass shooting in Chesapeake was especially sad because the shooter was one of the store’s own employees.
“Such tragedies hit us hard and close to home. But this one hurts the most because we found out the gunman worked at Walmart,” Furner said in a statement. “Everyone in the Walmart family is sad. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were hurt, and we appreciate what the first responders did.
The FBI’s Norfolk office said that the agency is helping the Chesapeake Police Department with the investigation.
Anyone who knows anything about the shooting is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.