U.S.

Police: Walmart shooter bought gun just hours before killing

Chesapeake, Virginia – Authorities investigating the fatal shootings of six people at Walmart said the shooter had purchased the gun just hours earlier and left a note with complaints against co-workers on his phone.

Police in Chesapeake, Va., issued a press release Friday saying they conducted a forensic analysis of Walmart supervisor Andre Bing’s phone and discovered what was dubbed a “death note.” Police say he was the shooter and was found dead at the scene late Tuesday, apparently after a gunshot wound.

In the police warrant, Peng said co-workers harassed and mocked him.

Police said he used a legally purchased 9mm handgun on Tuesday morning, hours before the shooting. The statement said he had no criminal history.

This is an urgent news update. The previous AP story follows below.

Chesapeake, Va. (AP) — A Walmart supervisor who shot and killed six colleagues in Virginia targeted people and shot some of the victims after they were already wounded and appeared to be dead, a witness who was present at the shooting said. I started.

Jessica Wilczewski said workers had gathered in a break room at the store to start their night shift late Tuesday when team leader Andre Bing walked in and opened fire with a handgun. While another witness described Bing as shooting wildly, Wilczewski said she witnessed him aiming at certain people.

“The way he acted – he was going hunting. The way he looked at people’s faces and the way he did what he did, he was picking on people,” Wilczewski told The Associated Press on Thursday.

She said she saw him shoot people who were already on the ground.

“What I do know,” she said, “is that he made sure whoever he wanted dead, died.” He returned and shot dead bodies. To make sure.

Wilczewski said she had only worked at the store for five days and didn’t know who Bing was with or had issues with. She said that being a new employee may have been the reason for her dismissal.

After the shooting began, she said, a co-worker sitting next to her pulled her from under the table to hide. At one point, she said, Bing asked her to get out from under the table. But when he saw who she was, he said to her, “Jessie, go home.” She said she got up slowly and then ran out of the store.

Police try to determine a motive, while former co-workers struggle to make sense of the rampage in the Chesapeake, a city of about 250,000 people near the Virginia coast.

Some who have worked with Bing, 31, said he has a reputation for being an aggressive, if not hostile, supervisor who once admitted he had “anger issues.” But he also can make people laugh and seems to deal with the typical work pressures that many people endure.

“I don’t think he’s ever had a lot of people to turn to in his personal life,” said Nathan Sinclair, who worked at Wal-Mart for nearly a year before leaving earlier this month.

During conversations between co-workers, “we’d be like, ‘Work is taking up my life.'” Sinclair recalled Thursday that (Bing) would be like, “Yeah, I don’t have a social life anyway.”

Sinclair said he and Bing did not get along. Sinclair said Bing was known to be “verbally aggressive” to staff and was not particularly likeable. But there were times when Peng was ridiculed and not necessarily treated fairly.

“There’s no telling what he might have thought. … You never know if someone really doesn’t have any kind of support group,” Sinclair said.

Overall, Bing seemed pretty normal to Janice Strausberg, who knew him from working at Walmart for 13 years before he left in June.

She said Bing can be “grumpy” but can also be “calm”. He made people laugh and told Straussberg he loved to dance. When she invites him to church, he declines but mentions that his mother was a preacher.

Straussberg believed that Bing’s anger was due to the pressures that come with any job. He also once told her he had “anger issues” and complained that he would “get managers in trouble”.

You never expected this.

“I think he was having mental problems,” Strausberg said Thursday. “What else could it be?”

Tuesday’s violence in the Chesapeake was the nation’s second high-profile mass shooting in four days. Bing was killed when officers arrived at the store in the state’s second largest city. Authorities said he appeared to have shot himself.

Police have identified the victims as Brian Pendleton, 38. Kelly Pyle, 52; Lorenzo Gamble, 43; and Randy Blevins, 70, all from Chesapeake; and Tenika Johnson, 22, from nearby Portsmouth. Also among the dead was a 16-year-old boy, whose name has been withheld because of his age, police said.

A Walmart spokesperson confirmed in an email that all of the victims worked for the company.

Crystal Kawabata, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s field office in Norfolk, Va., confirmed that the agency is assisting police with the investigation but directed all inquiries to the Chesapeake Police Department, the main investigative agency.

Briana Tyler, another Walmart employee, said Bing fired at random.

“He was shooting all over the room. It didn’t matter who he hit,” Tyler told the Associated Press on Wednesday.

Six people were also injured in the shooting, which occurred shortly after 10 p.m. when shoppers were stocking up on merchandise ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Police said they believed about 50 people were in the store at the time.

Bing was identified as an overnight team leader who had been a Walmart employee since 2010. Police said he had one handgun and several magazines of ammunition.

Tyler said the overnight stock team of 15 to 20 people had just gathered in the break room to go over the morning plan. Another team leader, Tyler and Wiczewski said, began speaking when Bing entered the room and opened fire.

Tyler, who started working at Walmart two months ago and worked with Bing just one night earlier, said she never confronted him negatively, but others told her he was “the manager to look out for.” She said that Bing has a history of texting people for no reason.

The attack is the second major attack in Virginia this month. Three University of Virginia football players were fatally shot on a bus on November 13 as they returned from a field trip. Two other students were wounded.

The Walmart shooting also comes days after someone opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado — killing five and wounding 17. The shooting Tuesday night brought back memories of another Walmart attack in 2019, when a gunman killed 23. In a store in El Paso, Texas.

Wilszewski, who survived the shooting Tuesday in Virginia, said she tried but couldn’t bring herself to visit a memorial in the store’s parking lot Wednesday.

“I wrote a letter and wanted to put it out there,” she said. “I wrote to the people I watched die. I said I was sorry I wasn’t louder. I’m sorry you didn’t feel my touch. But you weren’t alone.”

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Associated Press writers Dennis Lavoie in the Chesapeake and news researchers Rhonda Schaffner and Randy Hershaft in New York contributed to this report.

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