CHESAPEAKE, Virginia. (WAVY) -- Authorities say six people were killed in a mass shooting Tuesday night at a Walmart near Battlefield Blvd in Chesapeake, Virginia.
The suspect also took his own life, according to police.
Police say multiple counts of dead and wounded were found inside the building, where the shooting took place. A clerk on duty at the time told WAVY that the shooting started at the back of the store. One person was also found dead outside the main entrance.
The call reporting the shooting occurred at 10:12 pm. on Tuesday, when the Walmart Supercenter was still open to the public. Night workers had recently registered.
Chesapeake held a press conference at 8 am. on Wednesday with updates on the investigation. Police Chief Mark Solesky confirmed that the shooter was a store clerk and had a gun. On Wednesday afternoon, Walmart employees confirmed the shooter's identity as Andre Bing, a Walmart associate who served as a team leader on the night shift.
Read the full statement from Walmart below:
While details of the tragic incident at our Chesapeake, Virginia store are still emerging, authorities have confirmed multiple deaths. We are focused on doing everything possible to support our associates and their families at this time. The suspected shooter has been identified as Andre Bing. We can confirm he was a Walmart associate. Andre's position at the company was overnight team leader and he has worked with us since 2010. We are grateful to the local first responders and will continue to work with local authorities as they continue their investigations.walmart spokesperson
Six people died from their injuries, Solesky said. The shooter is believed to have died from a self-inflicted wound.
A spokesman for Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, the closest Level 1 trauma center to the area, confirmed that five patients were being treated there. Two of those patients subsequently died, two remain in critical condition, and one patient is listed in good condition.
10 On Your Side confirmed to Chesapeake Regional that it treated five patients from the Tuesday night shooting. One of these patients died from his injuries; the remaining four were discharged from the hospital, a spokesman confirmed Wednesday afternoon.
Police identified five of the six victims on Wednesday night. The sixth victim was a 16-year-old, who was not identified by the police because he was a minor.
The identified victims are Brian Pendleton, 38, of Chesapeake, Randy Blevins, 70, of Chesapeake, Kellie Pyle, 52, of Chesapeake, Lorenzo Gamble, 43, of Chesapeake, and Tyneka, 22. . . Johnson of Portsmouth.
KaMaria Braye of 10 On Your Side interviewed a Walmart employee who witnessed the shooting.
According to the witness, there were 14 employees in a conference room waiting to learn their duties the day the shooting started.
The witness added that he believes the shooting was planned and directed at other managers at that specific Walmart. At one point, the witness told 10 On Your Side that he heard the suspect laugh.
A massive police response was mobilized outside the store after the shooting was reported, with FBI agents and Virginia Beach Police responding to assist the Chesapeake. The ATF in Washington tweeted shortly after midnight that they, too, were on their way to help with the investigation. Police entered the store after receiving the call and continued to find the victims for about 30 to 45 minutes, Kosinski said.
The Chesapeake Conference Center was established as a gathering place for store employees and their families.
Employees also gathered at the nearby Sam's Club where care was being taken.A night shift worker who spoke with WAVY's Brett HallHe said "thank god I'm late".
An employee's mother said she heard the shots while talking on the phone with her son. He was physically fine after the shooting.
Meanwhile, an employee who said she was inside the store at the time told WAVY that a teenage employee was shot.
Walmart shared a statement Wednesday morning, saying, “We are shocked by this tragic event at our store in Chesapeake, Virginia. We are praying for those affected, the community and our associates. We are working closely with law enforcement and are focused on supporting our associates."
The shooting left many shocked, as Walmart employees and former employees who spoke with WAVY said the store felt like home.
"I've been on the phone with a few other friends who are former employees and customers, and we're all in disbelief," a former store employee said Wednesday morning as he tried to get answers about injuries at the convention center.
Craig Loper of WAVY spoke with Debra Hazlett, whose brother was one of the victims of the shooting outside Norfolk General on Wednesday morning. The victim, who has worked at Chesapeake Walmart for about 20 years, called her family around 10:18 pm. and said he had been shot. Hazlett says it's comforting to know who he's talking about. He had only been registered for 10 minutes when he was shot.
Comedian Jay Pharoah, an alumnus of Chesapeake “Saturday Night Live,” wrote, “This happened down the street in my Chesapeake neighborhood at Walmart where my family and I have been going for years. My heart breaks for those who don't have a chance to return home and my condolences to the families grieving their loss. If I'm grateful for anything on this vacation, it's for my family's lives and my own. Thank goodness we didn't get caught up in this, my mom was there today, I pray everyone I know is ok. I pray for those I don't know. Please pray for Chesapeake, keep Va in your hearts this holiday season."
Virginia State Senator Louise Lucas, who represents that part of Chesapeake, shared a statement Tuesday night, saying, "I am absolutely heartbroken that America's last mass shooting took place at a Walmart in my district in Chesapeake. Virginia tonight. I will not rest until we find the solutions to end this epidemic of gun violence in our country that has claimed so many lives."
Many other Virginia elected officials shared tweets and other statements on Wednesday morning: