Six individuals were murdered by a Walmart manager on Tuesday evening inside a Walmart Supercenter in Chesapeake, Virginia.
The night staff leader committed suicide after going on a rampage within the institution. The victims were among the hundreds of shoppers inside Walmart who were on a last-minute shopping binge before Thanksgiving and Black Friday, according to police reports. Due to their hectic work schedules, many shoppers attend the store at night to make last-minute preparations for the holidays this week. Walmart also provided price reductions on several products to entice those looking to save money.
Andre Bing, a 31-year-old Chesapeake resident, was the gunman, according to the police. When he executed the crime, he used a handgun with many magazines. Walmart management said at the time that Bing had issues but kept them from his team. Since 2010, Bing has supervised his group.
“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 incident occurred in the small hours of Tuesday, around 10 PM ET, and onlookers called the police shortly after the tragedy. The police declared they had control of the situation at about 11:20 PM. People who were hurt were taken urgently to the hospital. However, six more people perished along with the shooter. Walmart said that the Chesapeake location would be shuttered throughout the inquiry.
Walmart to expand intervention programs
Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, reaffirmed the company’s objective to identify workers who require help in light of the incident. The firm places a high priority on the mental wellness of its workers. Walmart’s store manager training program began incorporating mental health components in June to address any difficulties connected to the psyche of its employees. However, Walmart claimed it remained unaware of the shooter’s obvious motivation for his actions.
“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 in the US
Only three days passed after another shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado before the massacre at Walmart. A young man’s rampage resulted in the deaths of five individuals. Another shooter opened fire inside a Buffalo, New York, grocery store months prior, killing eleven people. Many high-ranking figures echoed demands to tighten the US gun laws in response to the incidents. President Joe Biden stated that the state needed immediate action on the sale and prohibition of firearms.
“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