A Walmart supervisor took the lives of six people Tuesday night inside a Walmart Supercenter in Chesapeake, Virginia.
The night crew supervisor took his life following his rampage inside the center. According to police reports, the victims were among the hundreds of people shopping inside Walmart for a last-minute spree before Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Given busy work schedules, many people frequent the store at night to prepare for the holidays later this week. Walmart also offered a price decrease on several items to lure customers wanting to save.
The police identified the gunman as 31-year-old Andre Bing from Chesapeake. He used a pistol with several ammunition magazines when he committed the crime. At the time, Walmart management also said that Bing faced troubles he refused to share with his team. Bing has led his team since 2010.
“We feel tragedies like this personally and deeply. But this one is especially painful as we have learned the gunman was a Walmart associate. Our hearts and prayers are with those impacted, and we are grateful for the actions of first responders,” said the chief executive of Walmart US, John Furner.
The crime happened in the wee hours of Tuesday, about 10 PM ET. After onlookers reported the tragedy, the police arrived minutes after. At around 11:20 PM, the police announced they contained the situation. Wounded individuals were rushed to the hospital. However, six others died, and the gunman killed himself. Walmart announced that their Chesapeake store would remain closed until the investigation finishes.
Walmart will focus on employee support
In light of the event, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon reiterated the company’s goal to detect employees that need intervention. According to the company, its employees’ mental health is paramount. In June, Walmart’s store manager training program started integrating mental health features to tackle any issues relating to the mentality of their employees. However, Walmart said it remains oblivious to the clear motive of the shooter’s crime.
“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. My heart hurts for our associates and the Chesapeake community who have lost or injured loved ones. We are here for them today, and in the challenging days ahead, they will have our support,” announced McMillon in a LinkedIn post.
“We appreciate all of our associates, first responders, and local officials who are already on site helping offer support as we work together to navigate this tragedy,” he added.
Shootings across the country
The Walmart shooting came only three days after another shooting incident inside an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado. Five people perished as a result of a rampage of a young man. Months ago, another shooter killed ten people after opening fire inside a Buffalo, New York, grocery store. The events prompted many senior officials to echo the calls to strengthen the gun ban in the US. President Joe Biden said the country needs to act swiftly on gun sales and ban.
“We are grateful to the first responders who mobilized to assist victims, and I have directed federal officials to provide any support and assistance needed to the people of Chesapeake,” said the president.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts or having a hard time, you can reach out to the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988. There, you will receive support from a counselor.
Photo Credit: Kenny Holston