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6 people and the shooter are dead: NPR > Virginia

Law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, are working at the scene of a mass shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia on Wednesday.

Alex Brandon/AP


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Law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, are working at the scene of a mass shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia on Wednesday.

Alex Brandon/AP

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — A gunman opened fire at a Walmart Supercenter in Virginia late Tuesday, killing six people and hospitalizing four. The second high-profile mass murder within a few days. Police confirmed the attacker is also dead, which they believe is a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

In a news conference early Wednesday, Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky said the gunman’s identity would be kept secret until his next of kin were notified, but said he was an employee of the store.

He was found dead at the scene, and police say his motive is still unknown.

The shooting came three days after a person opened fire at a Colorado gay nightclub, killing five and injuring 17. Earlier this year, the country was rocked by the deaths of 21 when a gunman stormed an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

And since 2019, Americans have witnessed at least five fatal supermarket shootings, including one that killed 10 shoppers, most of them black, at a Buffalo supermarket in May.

Tuesday’s shooting also brought back memories of a 2019 shooting in nearby Virginia Beach that killed 12 people. Then-Gov. Ralph Northam responded to this event by proposing a series of gun control measures for Virginia, the state home to the NRA.

After a backlash from pro-rights groups, including a high-profile rally in 2020 involving thousands of armed protesters, the measures have met with mixed success.

Chief Solensky said Tuesday’s shooter was believed to be carrying a single handgun and acting alone.

Police say they arrived at the scene at 10:14 p.m. ET Monday, two minutes after the first 911 call, and had officially vacated the store by 11:20 p.m. Officers also searched the suspect’s home early Wednesday, Solensky said.

In this frame from video, Virginia police respond to the scene of a deadly shooting at a Walmart Tuesday night in Chesapeake, Virginia.

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In this frame from video, Virginia police respond to the scene of a deadly shooting at a Walmart Tuesday night in Chesapeake, Virginia.

AP

Four of Walmart’s patients are being treated at Norfolk General Hospital, but their conditions were not immediately available, authorities said. (A spokesman for the hospital previously said they are treating five patients; it’s unclear if any have been discharged.)

Walmart tweeted early Wednesday that it was “shocked by this tragic event.”

Glenn Youngkin, Governor of Virginia echoed that sentiment, saying in a tweet that “heinous acts of violence have no place in our communities” and that he is in touch with law enforcement officials.

Chesapeake Mayor Rick West said in a statement he was “devastated by the senseless act of violence” and described his city as a “close-knit community.”

Sarah McCammon reported from Chesapeake; Emily Olson reported from Washington, DC

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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