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Walmart worker in Virginia opens fire, killing at least 6

3 days ago 7

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© Alex Brandon / AP
Law enforcement at the scene of a mass shooting at a Walmart store, in Chesapeake, Va., on Wednesday.

Investigators were searching the house Wednesday of a Walmart employee who opened fire at a Virginia store, killing at least six people and wounding at least four more before taking his own life.

A motive has not been established for the mass killing Tuesday night at the Walmart Supercenter in the city of Chesapeake, but a senior law enforcement official told NBC News the suspect was a disgruntled employee who was armed with a pistol of some kind. The shooter's identity has not yet been released.

It was the deadliest store shooting since May when a racist white gunman shot 10 Black people dead at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, according to an NBC News tally.

"We're a couple days before the Thanksgiving holiday," said Leo Kosinski, the public information officer for the Chesapeake Police Department. "It's just a bad time all around, just for everybody involved — especially the victims. This is horrible."

At the White House, President Joe Biden decried the latest mass shooting in America.

"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," Biden said in a statement. "There are now more families who know the worst kind of loss and pain imaginable."

The first reports of gunfire at the Walmart Supercenter were logged at 10:12 p.m. Tuesday and, when police arrived minutes later, the suspected shooter was already dead, Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky said.

He confirmed the employee died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and said the next of kin have not yet been notified of his death.

Four wounded people were taken to local hospitals for treatment, Solesky said. Their names and conditions were not released by police.

It was also not clear if any of the wounded were employees or customers of the store.

Both the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were assisting in the investigations, the agencies confirmed.

"I am devastated by the senseless act of violence that took place late last night in our City," Chesapeake Mayor Rick West, who recently tested positive for Covid, said in a statement released Wednesday. "Chesapeake is a tight-knit community and we are all shaken by this news. Together, we will support each other throughout this time. Please keep us in your prayers."

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin ordered flags flown at half-staff in memory of the victims.

"Our hearts break with the community of Chesapeake this morning," he said in a tweet Wednesday. "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."

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., tweeted: "Sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake. I'll be monitoring developments closely."

Meanwhile, a person who claimed to have been in the bakery section when the "fireworks" erupted shared footage of the aftermath in a Facebook live video.

"People gone bro," the person said in the video. "In the aisle. Just walked out that aisle, bro."

NBC News has contacted the poster of the video for more details and has not yet been able to verify the account.

The deadly mass shooting in Chesapeake came just days after a gunman barged into a LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado and opened fire, killing five and wounding 19 more before he was subdued by patrons.

Earlier this month, three members of the University of Virginia football team were fatally shot and two others were wounded by a former teammate, police said.

"We are shocked at this tragic event at our Chesapeake, Virginia store," a Walmart spokesperson said in a statement. "We're praying for those impacted, the community and our associates."

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