A shooter opened fire in a Walmart in Virginia late Tuesday, leaving six people dead, police said, in the second high-profile mass killing in the US in a handful of days. The assailant is also dead.
The store in Chesapeake is now safe, Officer Leo Kosinski said in the early hours of Wednesday.
The shooting came three days after a person opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado late Saturday, killing five people and wounding 17.
Earlier, Kosinski said he couldn’t say how the gunman died but that he didn’t believe police fired shots.
The shooting had apparently stopped when police arrived at the store in Chesapeake, which is Virginia’s second-largest city and lies next to the seaside communities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
WATCH l Police describe chaos upon arrival:
Mike Kafka, a spokesperson for Sentara Healthcare, said in a text message that five patients from the Walmart were being treated at Norfolk General Hospital. Their conditions weren’t immediately available.
“You always say you don’t think it would happen in your town, in your neighborhood, in your store — in your favorite store and that’s the thing that has me shocked,” said Buggs, 58, of Chesapeake.
Walmart tweeted early Wednesday that it was “shocked at this tragic event.”
Our hearts break with the community of Chesapeake this morning. I remain in contact with law enforcement officials throughout this morning and have made available any resources as this investigation moves forward. Heinous acts of violence have no place in our communities.
US Sen. Mark Warner said in a tweet that he was “sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake.”
Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin also expressed his condolences and said the state was prepared to assist with whatever resources were required in the investigation.
Earlier in the year, the country was shaken by mass shootings at a Buffalo grocery store and at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
Walmart stores in the US have seen mass shootings before, most notably in 2019 when a gunman who police say was targeting Mexicans opened fire at a store in El Paso and killed 22 people. The accused was arrested but has yet to face trial in that case.