Update: At least 6 are dead and others injured after a shooting inside a Virginia Walmart Tuesday night, according to the Chesapeake Police Department.
The suspect, an employee, used a pistol in the attack before killing himself. 4 others are hospitalized.
Caitlyn Burchett, Ian Munro
Multiple people are dead or injured following a shooting inside a Chesapeake Walmart late Tuesday night, police say.
The shooter is deceased, according to police. But it was unclear as of early Wednesday how many others were dead.
“We believe it’s a single shooter, that single shooter is deceased at this time,” said Leo Kosinski, a spokesperson for Chesapeake Police Department.
He confirmed multiple people were shot and killed at the Sam’s Circle Walmart located off Battlefield Boulevard. The call for the shooting came in just after 10:10 p.m.
Gathered with others outside the Sam’s Club on the other end of the shopping center, Walmart worker Joseph Strempski described hearing the gunfire. He said he was in the maintenance closet when he heard the gunfire. He then saw people running and ran with them.
In a 30-minute timespan, police from across multiple agencies responded in force to secure the scene. FBI agents could be seen at the scene, and ATF agents were also en route.
“As police arrived on scene, they realized it was an active shooter situation and we had to change our tactics,” Kosinski said.
Kosinski said he did not believe the shooter was taken out by police, but details are limited. He was unable to provide any information about the shooter. Police do not yet know how many are injured or dead.
As of 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, police were still going through the supercenter looking for victims and shoppers who may still be hiding.
People are asked to avoid the area.
Walmart issued a statement via Twitter expressing shock over the deadly shooting.
“We’re praying for those impacted, the community and our associates,” the company said. “We’re working closely with law enforcement, and we are focused on supporting our associates.”
A family reunification site has been set up at the Chesapeake Conference Center, located at 700 Conference Center Drive. Police said the site is meant for immediate family members or the emergency contact of anyone who may have been in the building.
People continued to trickle into the building early Wednesday to receive updates.
Local representatives shared statements on Twitter in reaction to the deadly shooting.
”I am absolutely heartbroken that America’s latest mass shooting took place in a Walmart in my district in Chesapeake, Virginia tonight. I will not rest until we find the solutions to end this gun violence epidemic in our country that has taken so many lives,” state Sen. Louise Lucas said.
”Enough is enough,” Rep. Elaine Luria said.