6 Killed at Walmart Store in Virginia

“None of us deserved to witness that,” said an employee who watched co-workers being gunned down by a night crew manager. The gunman also killed himself, according to the police.

Scenes From Virginia
  1. Kenny Holston for The New York Times
  2. Kenny Holston for The New York Times
  3. Kenny Holston for The New York Times
  4. By Storyful and The Associated Press
  5. Kenny Holston for The New York Times
  6. Alex Brandon/Associated Press
  7. Reuters
  8. Alex Brandon/Associated Press

The shooting added to the nation’s grim toll of gun violence.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — As nighttime shoppers browsed for household items or Thanksgiving necessities, an employee of a Walmart in Chesapeake, Va., took out a pistol and, without a word, a witness said, opened fire, killing five of his co-workers and a 16-year-old boy, and wounding several others before turning the weapon on himself.

The bodies of the gunman and two victims were found in an employee break room, the authorities said, and another near the front of the store. Three died after being taken to nearby hospitals.

The burst of workplace violence, just after 10 p.m. on Tuesday, tore at the holiday cheer of a popular shopping center now cordoned off with yellow police tape. And it thrust the nation, again, for the third time in less than two weeks, into a familiar and increasingly frequent cycle of mourning and soul-searching, prayer-sending and finger-pointing, in the aftermath of yet another mass shooting.

Days earlier, an attacker killed five people and wounded 18 others at a Colorado Springs nightclub that had been seen as a haven of safety for the local L.G.B.T.Q. community. Earlier this month, a student at the University of Virginia shot and killed three members of the school’s football team on a bus as they returned from a class trip.

“Because of yet another horrific and senseless act of violence, there are now even more tables across the country that will have empty seats this Thanksgiving,” President Biden said in a statement on Wednesday after the Walmart shooting.

Mr. Biden said that gun control legislation signed into law this year in response to the massacre of 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, had not been enough.

“We must take greater action,” he said. His sentiment was echoed by Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, a Democrat, on Wednesday. Neither said what changes they would seek.

Little drew together the shootings this month other than the fact of a gun in the hands of an assailant bent on killing. A manager at a Walmart with a pistol who appeared to have targeted his colleagues, a worker at the store said. A 22-year-old with an AR-15-style rifle and a handgun who may have been motivated by hatred, the police said, to open fire at the nightclub. A college student, also 22, who tried repeatedly to purchase weapons before finally succeeding and then, prosecutors said, aiming to kill some of his classmates.

“Our hearts break with the community of Chesapeake this morning,” said the Virginia governor, Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, in a statement on Wednesday, adding, “Heinous acts of violence have no place in our communities.”

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Credit...Kenny Holston for The New York Times

The governor ordered flags across the state to be lowered to half-staff on Wednesday, the second time he had done so this month.

The police identified the six people killed in the shooting as Lorenzo Gamble, Brian Pendleton, Kellie Pyle, Randall Blevins, Tyneka Johnson and a 16-year-old boy whose name was being withheld. Walmart said the five adults all worked there; the company did not immediately respond to queries about the teenager.

It was not clear how the gunman, identified as Andre Bing, 31, had acquired his weapon nor what events led to the shooting. Mr. Bing was an “overnight team lead” who had been employed by the company since 2010, Walmart said in a statement.

“The devastating news of last night’s shooting at our Chesapeake, Va., store at the hands of one of our associates has hit our Walmart family hard,” said Doug McMillon, the president and chief executive of Walmart, in a statement. “My heart hurts for our associates and the Chesapeake community who have lost or injured loved ones.”

Donya Prioleau said she was working in the store at the time of the shooting and identified the gunman as her overnight manager.

She said she had been in the break room when the manager entered and, without a word, began firing. “I just watched three of my friends killed in front of me,” Ms. Prioleau said.

“I was directly in front of it,” she said in a brief phone interview. “None of us deserved to witness that.”

The first 911 call came in at 10:12 p.m., and officers entered the store about four minutes later, said Chief Mark G. Solesky of the Chesapeake Police Department. By the time they arrived, the gunman was dead. In a statement, city officials said that the gunman acted alone, had been wearing “civilian clothing” and carrying a handgun along with multiple magazines, and appeared to have killed himself. At the time of the shooting, there were at least 50 people inside of the store.

“There is no clear motive at this time,” said Chief Solesky, adding that there was no indication that the gunman was known to the police before the shooting.

Shaundrayia Reese, 27, who used to work at the Chesapeake Walmart on an overnight crew, said that she had worked directly with Mr. Bing.

He did not seem to have many friends and did not like having his picture taken, Ms. Reese said. He would cover the camera of his phone with black tape, saying that he was concerned about government surveillance. She added that he did not strike her as violent, despite his sometimes odd behavior.

“He used to tell us the government was watching him,” she said. “Everyone did complain to the managers about Andre’s behavior.” 

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Credit...Kenny Holston for The New York Times

She added: “He was really a loner. He was real lonely.”

Nathan Sinclair, 21, who previously worked as a manager on the shift before Mr. Bing’s, said that Mr. Bing could be difficult to work with.

“He was kind of aggressive,” said Mr. Sinclair, who left his job this month. He added that on most nights around 10:15 p.m. — about the time that Tuesday’s shooting took place — Mr. Bing would assemble his team for a meeting and hand out assignments. The store closed to customers at 11 p.m.

Ms. Reese, who now works at a 7-Eleven, said she also knew two of the victims, including Mr. Pendleton, whom she described as a maintenance janitor who “never had a bad bone in his body.”

She also knew Mr. Blevins, whom she called “Mr. Randy,” and said he had been a longtime member of a team at the store who worked on setting prices and arranging merchandise.

Neighbors of Ms. Johnson described her as someone who kept to herself. “She was a sweet young lady,” said Irene Hope, 66, adding: “It’s just terrible. Too close to home.”

Mass shootings in public are more common at workplaces than in other settings, according to a database maintained by the Violence Project, a nonprofit research center that has compiled information on shootings going back decades.

In May 2021, a transit worker opened fire as workers gathered for a morning shift at a rail yard in San Jose, Calif., killing nine people. The month before, a former employee shot and killed eight people at a FedEx warehouse in Indianapolis. Both gunmen killed themselves shortly after their rampages.

But mass shootings at retail stores have also become increasingly familiar. There was the killing of 10 Black shoppers at a grocery store in Buffalo in May, and the targeting of Hispanic shoppers during a mass shooting that killed 23 at a Walmart in El Paso in 2019. Both gunmen were motivated by racial hatred, the authorities have said.

Virginia, home to the headquarters of the National Rifle Association, has historically had permissive gun laws. The state allows the open carrying of handguns without a permit, for example, with some exceptions. But after Democrats took full control of the state government in 2019, the legislature passed new restrictions, including universal background checks, reporting requirements for lost or stolen firearms and some limits on purchasing.

Republicans won back the governorship and the House of Delegates a year ago, and the legislature passed no significant gun measures in its 2022 session. Mr. Youngkin has said that he would support repealing some of the Democratic-led policies if Republicans also regained control of the State Senate.

Mr. Youngkin said on Wednesday that the shootings in Virginia and elsewhere in recent weeks were an example of the country’s “mental health crisis” and suggested he would provide more resources.

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Credit...Audra Melton for The New York Times

At the Walmart in Chesapeake, Jeromy Basham had been looking for Thanksgiving tablecloths and disposable cutlery for an office potluck the next day. Then he heard what he described as several loud claps.

“I thought someone had knocked over some huge shelf or something,” said Mr. Basham, 47, a manager at a company in Virginia Beach. “It was a group of several really, really loud, identical noises, followed with no noise.” A few seconds later, he heard people yelling: “It’s a gun! Get out!”

Because of Walmart’s size and geographic reach — it has more than 4,000 stores spread across the United States — the retailer is often the site of crimes, some of them violent. During the coronavirus pandemic, some retailers and their employees have said, violence increased in all types of stores.

Walmart has said that it has taken steps to bolster security in some stores, such as installing cameras in parking lots and hiring off-duty police officers during busy shopping days.

The store has also frequently been at the center of the debate over gun violence. Although the chain sells guns, Walmart has imposed increasingly strict restrictions on firearm sales in the wake of mass shootings. In recent years, it stopped selling handguns and certain rifles, including AR-15s, and raised the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21.

In Chesapeake, the Walmart provided a hub for many residents. Some people interviewed on Wednesday said they visited just days before, preparing for Thanksgiving. Others said they had planned to visit either the night of the shooting or later in the week.

By late Wednesday, two victims remained in critical condition, hospital officials said. One of them was Sarah Walker, a Walmart employee and mother of three, who suffered five gunshot wounds, according to Jennie Walp, a friend of Ms. Walker’s.

“She was always a force to be reckoned with, determined to work hard to provide for her kids, and always good for a laugh,” Ms. Walp said. “It’s definitely shocking to have it hit so close to home, with the ongoing violence that continues to happen all over our country.”

Reporting was contributed by Michael Corkery, Maggie Astor, Jesus Jimenez, Christine Chung, Jenna Russell and Rich Griset. Kitty Bennett contributed research.

Nov. 23, 2022, 7:05 p.m. ET

Here is what we know about the victims.

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Credit...Kenny Holston for The New York Times

At least five of the people killed late Tuesday at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Va., were employees of the store, including several who were part of a tight-knit overnight crew preparing to take the floor as a busy shopping day came to a close just two days before Thanksgiving.

The police identified the six people slain in the shooting as Lorenzo Gamble, Brian Pendleton, Kellie Pyle, Randall Blevins, Tyneka Johnson and a 16-year-old boy whose name they are withholding because of his age. Walmart said the five adults all worked at the store; the company declined to say whether the teenager was an employee.

Relatives of several victims said they were too distraught to share memories of their loved ones on Wednesday, but several former employees at the Chesapeake Walmart fondly remembered their co-workers who were among the dead.

Josh Johnson said he had worked at the store for two and a half years, leaving shortly before the coronavirus pandemic, and viewed Mr. Pendleton, a maintenance employee, as an older brother who always remained humble and was among the store’s hardest workers.

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“If you had any problems, you could go to Brian,” Mr. Johnson said. “He would go to bat for you and help you with anything.”

Shaundrayia Reese, who said she worked at the store from around 2015 to 2018, was particularly close to Mr. Pendleton, she said.

“He never raised his voice, never had a bad bone in his body,” Ms. Reese said. “Nobody could ever say anything bad about that man. He was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met in my life. He didn’t deserve to die like that.”

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Ms. Reese also recalled working alongside Mr. Blevins, a longtime member of the store’s modular team, which set prices and arranged merchandise. She knew him fondly as “Mr. Randy,” she said.

The overnight team at the Chesapeake Walmart was “a family,” Ms. Reese said, adding that employees relied on each other and maintained a sense of camaraderie, despite work that she said was often thankless and exhausting.

Sheelagh McNeill, Kitty Bennett and Kirsten Noyes contributed research.

By The New York Times

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs
Nov. 23, 2022, 6:35 p.m. ET

The family of Lorenzo Gamble, one of the slain victims, was mourning and did not want to speak by phone, but his son was grieving on Facebook. “Long live my pops,” he wrote in one post.

Nov. 23, 2022, 5:43 p.m. ET

Josh Johnson said he had worked at the Chesapeake Walmart for two and a half years and viewed Brian Pendleton, one of his former co-workers who was killed in the shooting, as an older brother. “If you had any problems, you could go to Brian. He would go to bat for you and help you with anything.”

Nov. 23, 2022, 5:29 p.m. ET

Shaundrayia Reese, who worked at the Chesapeake Walmart from around 2015 to 2018, said that she knew one of the employees who was killed, Randall Blevins, as “Mr. Randy.” He was a longtime member of the store’s modular team, which worked to set prices and arrange merchandise, she said.

Nov. 23, 2022, 5:36 p.m. ET

Reese said she was particularly close to another victim, Brian Pendleton, a maintenance janitor at the store. “He never raised his voice, never had a bad bone in his body,” Reese said. “Nobody could ever say anything bad about that man. He was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met in my life. He didn’t deserve to die like that.”

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs
Nov. 23, 2022, 5:11 p.m. ET

The police identified the six people killed in the Walmart shooting as Lorenzo Gamble, Brian Pendleton, Kellie Pyle, Randall Blevins, Tyneka Johnson and a 16-year-old boy whose name they are withholding because of his age.

Jesus Jimenez
Nov. 23, 2022, 4:58 p.m. ET

Sarah Walker, a Walmart employee and mother of three, suffered five gunshot wounds and was in critical condition on Wednesday, said Jennie Walp, a friend, adding that Walker was “giving it all she’s got to hold on in there.”

Jesus Jimenez
Nov. 23, 2022, 4:59 p.m. ET

“She was always a force to be reckoned with, determined to work hard to provide for her kids, and always good for a laugh,” Walp said. “It’s definitely shocking to have it hit so close to home with the ongoing violence that continues to happen all over our country.”

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs
Nov. 23, 2022, 2:55 p.m. ET

The Chesapeake Police said in an update that about 50 people were in the Walmart store at the time of the shooting last night, and that investigators are “actively working to learn more about the suspect’s background and what may have motivated” him.

Maggie Astor
Nov. 23, 2022, 1:59 p.m. ET

Virginia, long a gun-rights bastion, recently tightened its firearm laws.

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Credit...Eze Amos for The New York Times

The massacre at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Va., is the second high-profile shooting in less than two weeks in the state, long a center of the national battle over gun policy. Nine days before the attack on Tuesday, in which at least six people were killed, three students at the University of Virginia were fatally shot on Nov. 13.

Virginia, the longtime home of the National Rifle Association, has historically been dominated by conservatives who favored more permissive gun laws. But after Democrats took full control of the state government in 2019, they passed a significant package of changes.

Policies they passed in 2020 included universal background checks, reporting requirements for lost or stolen firearms, a limit of one handgun purchase per month for most people, and a red-flag law that allows authorities to seize guns from people who pose an immediate threat to themselves or others.

In 2021, the legislature passed another set of measures, including a three-year ban on firearm possession for some people convicted of assaulting a family member. Research shows it is common for mass shooters to have a history of domestic abuse, especially against women.

Even so, Virginia — site of one of the country’s worst mass shootings, the 2007 rampage at Virginia Tech — remains permissive in some ways. For example, it allows the open carrying of handguns without a permit, with some exceptions.

Everytown for Gun Safety, a prominent gun control advocacy group, ranks Virginia 14th in the country for the strength of its gun laws.

Democrats lost control of the governorship and the House of Delegates a year ago, and Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, has said he would support repealing some of the Democratic-led policies if his party were to regain control of the State Senate.

Asked on Wednesday whether the recent shootings had influenced the policies he would support, Mr. Youngkin’s office referred to comments he made at an appearance in Richmond that morning.

In those comments, he acknowledged the two attacks in quick succession and said that both investigations were still in progress.

“When the facts come in at the end of all the investigations, then we’ll have time to come together and talk about what actions we can take,” he said.

He and Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears also indicated that they would pursue new mental health policies, but did not specify what those policies would look like.

Michael Corkery
Nov. 23, 2022, 1:44 p.m. ET

Reporting on Walmart

Walmart's chief executive, Doug McMillon, posted a statement about the shooting on LinkedIn. “The devastating news of last night’s shooting at our Chesapeake, VA store at the hands of one of our associates has hit our Walmart family hard,″ McMillon said. “My heart hurts for our associates and the Chesapeake community who have lost or injured loved ones.”

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs
Nov. 23, 2022, 1:44 p.m. ET

The gunman was armed with a handgun and had multiple magazines with him, Chesapeake, Va., city officials said on Twitter. The police say he shot six people before killing himself in the Walmart where he had been a longtime employee.

Nov. 23, 2022, 1:27 p.m. ET

The gunman was a longtime manager who unnerved some co-workers.

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Credit...Kenny Holston for The New York Times

The Walmart employee who the police say fatally shot six people and then killed himself on Tuesday night in Chesapeake, Va., was an off-putting manager who feared government surveillance, some of his former co-workers said.

The police identified the gunman on Wednesday as Andre Bing, 31, and said he used a pistol to carry out the shooting just after 10 p.m., about an hour before the store closes to customers. Walmart said he had been an overnight team lead employed by the company since 2010.

Former co-workers said Mr. Bing, whose shifts began at 10 p.m., oversaw employees as they unloaded pallets of groceries, stocked shelves and cleaned the store, which is part of a strip mall just off a nearby highway.

Two former co-workers recalled that Mr. Bing had covered up the camera of his phone with tape, saying he feared that the government was watching him.

“Everyone called him weird,” said Shaundrayia Reese, 27, who worked on the store’s overnight crew from roughly 2015 to 2018. “That was all anyone could say about Andre.”

Ms. Reese said that while employees largely managed to get along during shifts, Mr. Bing could be temperamental and sometimes showed a “nasty attitude,” leading to complaints from his subordinates.

Nathan Sinclair, 21, who previously worked as a manager on the shift before Mr. Bing’s, said they occasionally clashed over workplace matters, including one particularly intense argument in October over unloading a truck.

“He had an attitude,” said Mr. Sinclair, who left his job this month, just short of a year after starting there. “He was kind of aggressive. There were moments where he was OK, but he was definitely hard to work with and a little hostile.”

Mr. Sinclair said that, on most nights at about 10:15 p.m. — about the time that the shooting took place on Tuesday — Mr. Bing would assemble his team for a meeting, handing out assignments and passing along any notes from earlier shifts.

Mr. Bing seemed not to have much of a life outside of the store, according to those who knew him, including Josh Johnson, 30, a maintenance employee who worked at the store until a few years ago.

“He was the type of guy who said, ‘I go to work and go home, I don’t have social life,’” Mr. Johnson said.

Christopher Cameron and Michael Corkery contributed reporting.

Michael Corkery
Nov. 23, 2022, 12:48 p.m. ET

Reporting on Walmart

In a statement, Walmart identified the gunman as Andre Bing, an overnight team lead who had worked with the company since 2010. The police said he killed himself after carrying out the attack.

Jenny Gross
Nov. 23, 2022, 12:39 p.m. ET

‘I just watched three of my friends killed,’ a Walmart employee says.

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Credit...Shawn Thew/EPA, via Shutterstock

A night shift employee at the Walmart where six people were killed late Tuesday night in Chesapeake, Va., said she witnessed the shooting, and identified the gunman as the store’s overnight manager.

The employee, Donya Prioleau, said she was in the break room when the manager entered and opened fire on her fellow employees without a word.

“I just watched three of my friends killed in front of me,” she said in a text message to The New York Times.

Officials have not identified the gunman, who they said was armed with a pistol. He appeared to have killed himself, according to the local police.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Ms. Prioleau said that many of the overnight employees at the store were “like a family,” and admonished people for making jokes on social media about the shooting.

“I was directly in front of it,” she said in a brief, tearful phone interview. She added, “None of us deserved to witness that.”

Kitty Bennett contributed research.

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs
Nov. 23, 2022, 12:20 p.m. ET

The gunman and two of the six people he fatally shot in a Walmart store in Chesapeake, Va., were found in the break room of the store, where the gunman was an employee, city officials said on Twitter. One person was found dead near the front of the store. The police are investigating whether the victims worked at the Walmart.

Michael Corkery
Nov. 23, 2022, 11:47 a.m. ET

Reporting on Walmart

Walmart is frequently at the center of the national gun debate.

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Twenty-three people were killed in a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso in 2019.Credit...Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, has frequently been at the center of the debate over gun violence.

Although the chain sells guns at its stores throughout the United States, Walmart has imposed increasingly strict restrictions on firearm sales as mass shootings have continued in the country. In recent years, it stopped selling handguns and certain rifles, including AR-15s, and raised the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21.

After 23 people were killed by a gunman in a Walmart store in El Paso in August 2019, the company publicly urged Congress and President Donald J. Trump to strengthen background checks and renew the debate over an assault rifle ban.

“As we’ve seen before, these horrific events occur and then the spotlight fades,” Walmart’s chief executive, Doug McMillon, said in a statement at the time. “We should not allow that to happen. Congress and the administration should act.”

Walmart has also taken additional steps, such as ceasing the sale of ammunition that could be used in military-style weapons and discouraging people from openly carrying weapons into its stores, a policy it announced in 2019.

In that announcement, Mr. McMillon cited “multiple incidents since El Paso, where individuals attempting to make a statement and test our response have entered our stores carrying weapons in a way that frightened or concerned our associates and customers.”

By the nature of its size and geographic reach — it has more than 4,000 stores spread across the United States — Walmart is commonly the site of crimes, some of them violent. During the pandemic, some retailers and their employees have said that violence has increased in all types of stores.

Walmart has said it has taken steps to bolster security in some stores such as installing cameras in parking lots and hiring off-duty police officers during busy shopping days.

Christine Chung
Nov. 23, 2022, 11:40 a.m. ET

Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia ordered that flags over the state Capitol and all local, state and federal buildings be lowered to half-staff through sunset on Sunday. His announcement comes just over a week after he last issued the order, following the deadly shooting at the University of Virginia.

Jenny Gross
Nov. 23, 2022, 10:55 a.m. ET

Donya Prioleau said she was working at the Chesapeake, Va., Walmart on the night shift when her overnight manager opened fire on her fellow employees in the breakroom. “None of us deserved to witness that,” she said, adding, "I just watched three of my friends killed in front of me."

Jenny Gross
Nov. 23, 2022, 10:40 a.m. ET

‘Everything changed in an instant’: A Walmart shopper describes the scene.

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Credit...Kenny Holston for The New York Times

While he was inside a Walmart in Chesapeake, Va., on Tuesday night, Jeromy Basham, a manager at Ion Solar in Virginia Beach, had been looking for Thanksgiving tablecloths and disposable cutlery for an office potluck the next day, he said. Then he heard what he described as several loud claps.

“I thought someone had knocked over some huge shelf or something,” Mr. Basham, 47, said Wednesday. “It was a group of several really, really, loud identical noises, followed with no noise.” A few seconds later, he heard people yelling, “It’s a gun, get out.”

He and several others ran out an emergency backdoor, triggering an alarm. They were directed to wait behind shelves and metal containers outside of the building, as medics treated someone on the ground outside.

Over the next hour, Mr. Basham said he saw two or three other bodies brought outside the Walmart, including one that had been carried in a shopping cart. He also saw someone on a stretcher being carried into an ambulance.

The authorities later said that a gunman fatally shot six people and wounded at least four others inside the Walmart, but did not identify the gunman or the victims at a news conference Wednesday morning.

At the start of the night, when Mr. Basham had arrived at Walmart, he had made light conversation with the few Walmart employees at the entrance. “The people at the front that were there to greet people were jovial, and it was warm,” he said. “Everything changed in an instant, from that, to horrible-ness.”

Kitty Bennett contributed research.

Jenny Gross
Nov. 23, 2022, 10:38 a.m. ET

Jeromy Basham, a customer inside the Walmart store when the gunman opened fire, said he heard the shots, then silence, before people started yelling, “It’s a gun, get out.” He and several others ran out an emergency door and hid behind metal containers outside. Over the next hour, he said, at least two bodies were taken out of the store, one of them in a shopping cart.

Maggie Astor
Nov. 23, 2022, 10:17 a.m. ET

In a statement, President Biden expressed grief over the shooting. “Because of yet another horrific and senseless act of violence, there are now even more tables across the country that will have empty seats this Thanksgiving,” he said. He said he and the first lady, Jill Biden, also mourn for those who have lost loved ones to gun violence and urged the nation to stand together against it. Recent gun control efforts, he added, are not enough: “We must take greater action.”

Chris Cameron
Nov. 23, 2022, 9:36 a.m. ET

Reporting from Chesapeake, Va.

A SWAT team has executed a search warrant at the gunman's home, Chief Mark Solesky said. Processing the crime scene at the store could take days, he said.

Jenny Gross
Nov. 23, 2022, 8:15 a.m. ET

Chief Mark Solesky of the Chesapeake Police said the F.B.I. was involved with the investigation and helping to process the scene. The gunman acted alone as far as officials are aware, the chief said.

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Credit...Shawn Thew/EPA, via Shutterstock
Jenny Gross
Nov. 23, 2022, 8:11 a.m. ET

“There is no clear motive at this time,” said Chief Solesky, adding that he had no indication that the gunman was known to police before the shooting.

Chris Cameron
Nov. 23, 2022, 8:10 a.m. ET

Reporting from Chesapeake, Va.

Chief Solesky said in a news conference that the gunman, who used a pistol, appeared to have killed himself. He said that he could not identify the gunman until next of kin have been notified, but confirmed that he was an employee at the Walmart.

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Jenny Gross
Nov. 23, 2022, 8:09 a.m. ET

Chief Solesky said that in addition to the six people who were killed, four victims are in hospitals with conditions unknown.

Chris Cameron
Nov. 23, 2022, 8:08 a.m. ET

Reporting from Chesapeake, Va.

In a news conference, Chief Mark Solesky of the Chesapeake Police provided a timeline of the shooting, saying that officers arrived “within two minutes” of the first call to 911.

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Chris Cameron
Nov. 23, 2022, 8:01 a.m. ET

Reporting from Chesapeake, Va.

A Virginia state senator, Lionell Spruill, a Democrat who represents parts of Chesapeake, has appeared ahead of a news conference where police will provide further details about the shooting. He said that Virginia lawmakers have “put measures in over and over and over again” aimed at reducing gun violence, but have faced fierce resistance from Republicans and even some Democrats in the state legislature.

Nov. 23, 2022, 7:08 a.m. ET

How we fight misinformation during a breaking news event: Because law enforcement officials control crime scenes, The Times initially relies on the information they provide. We work aggressively to verify it through interviews with witnesses and victims, and we report any discrepancies between what officials are saying and what we have found. Learn more about our process.

Chris Stanford
Nov. 23, 2022, 6:53 a.m. ET

Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia was among the elected officials to offer his condolences after the shooting. “Heinous acts of violence have no place in our communities,” he said on Twitter.

Chris Cameron
Nov. 23, 2022, 6:36 a.m. ET

Reporting from Chesapeake, Va.

Leo Kosinski, a spokesman for the Chesapeake Police, said earlier this morning that the Walmart would remain closed for about five days while investigators examine the crime scene.

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Credit...Kendall Warner/The Virginian-Pilot, via Associated Press
Chris Cameron
Nov. 23, 2022, 6:38 a.m. ET

Reporting from Chesapeake, Va.

He said it was unclear if other nearby stores would be able to open today. The police cordon envelops a nearby Dollar Tree and Sam’s Club.

Chris Cameron
Nov. 23, 2022, 6:33 a.m. ET

Reporting from Chesapeake, Va.

As dawn breaks in Chesapeake, investigators are pouring in and out of the glass doors of the Walmart while a helicopter circles overhead.

Chris Cameron
Nov. 23, 2022, 6:10 a.m. ET

Reporting from Chesapeake, Va.

Police and news crews lined up outside the Walmart in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Yellow police tape stretched across the strip mall from the Walmart to a nearby Sam’s Club.

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Credit...Chris Cameron/The New York Times
Jenny Gross
Nov. 23, 2022, 6:09 a.m. ET

The attack in Virginia adds to a grim toll of mass shootings in the U.S.

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Credit...Shaban Athuman/Richmond Times-Dispatch, via Associated Press

Mass shootings in the United States this year have come at a pace so fast that one community has barely started mourning the losses before another takes place. The shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Va., on Tuesday happened just three days after five people were killed at an L.G.B.T.Q. club in Colorado Springs.

A week earlier, three members of the University of Virginia football team were killed in Charlottesville, Va., by a former football player who opened fire in a garage, the authorities said.

The Walmart shooting was one of several attacks at American grocery stores and big-box retail outlets in recent years. In May, a teenage gunman in Buffalo shot and killed 10 people and injured three more, almost all of them Black, at a Tops supermarket, in one of the deadliest racist mass shootings in recent history.

Last year, a deadly shooting at a Boulder, Colo., supermarket left 10 people dead. Months later, another attack at a Kroger in Collierville, Tenn., about 30 miles east of Memphis, left one person dead and injured at least 14 others.

In 2019, a 21-year-old gunman stalked shoppers at a Walmart in El Paso, leaving 23 people dead and 26 others wounded. Also in 2019, a deadly rampage at the JC Kosher Supermarket in Jersey City, N.J., by two perpetrators left four people dead in an antisemitic attack.

Before 2019, only one mass shooting, in 1999, took place in a supermarket, according to research by Jillian Peterson, a professor at Hamline University, and James Densley, a professor at Metropolitan State University. Writing in The Conversation, they attribute the sharp rise in supermarket shootings to perpetrators studying others and learning from them. About half of shooters at grocery stores leaked their plans ahead of time, the researchers found.

Nov. 23, 2022, 5:45 a.m. ET

The store was crowded with pre-Thanksgiving shoppers before the shooting.

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Credit...Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Terri Brown, who lives nearby and shopped at the Walmart earlier on Tuesday evening, told a local television station that the store had seemed especially busy before she left it, about 20 or 30 minutes before 9 p.m. The holiday-shopping crowds had forced her to park far away, she said, and she saw long lines at checkout counters.

“People were being very friendly, talking about Thanksgiving — what they had to do, what they had to get,” Ms. Brown said in an interview with the ABC affiliate 13News Now.

In a statement early Wednesday morning, Walmart said, “We are shocked at this tragic event at our Chesapeake, Virginia, store.”

“We’re praying for those impacted, the community and our associates,” the company said. “We’re working closely with law enforcement, and we are focused on supporting our associates.”

The Walmart supercenter where the shooting occurred is one of several in southeastern Virginia. It includes a grocery store, a pharmacy, a bank, a bakery and a deli. Leo Kosinski, a spokesman with the Chesapeake Police Department, told reporters that the Walmart was “very, very large,” although he did not know the square footage.

“I mean, it’s sad, you know we’re a couple days before the Thanksgiving holiday,” Mr. Kosinski said.

After the shooting, photos and video from outside the Walmart showed officers huddling around the entrance of the building on Sam’s Circle, with numerous police vehicles in the large parking lot of the store, which is off Battlefield Boulevard. A large inflatable Santa Claus stood outside the store.