U.S.

Virginia Walmart shooting: Victims remain hospitalized days after a mass shooting in a Virginia Walmart left 6 employees dead



CNN

As authorities investigate this week’s mass shooting inside a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, at least two employees remain hospitalized after a manager killed six co-workers before taking his own life.

The shooting began on Tuesday night — two days before Thanksgiving — minutes after 10 p.m. inside the employee break room, as some workers were preparing to start their night shift.

In addition to the six employees who did not make it out alive, the others continue to receive medical treatment.

Chesapeake city officials said in a tweet Thursday that one victim was hospitalized in critical condition on Thanksgiving Day, while another’s condition was “fair/improving.” A Sentara Norfolk General Hospital spokesperson told CNN that another victim was released on Wednesday.

“This Thanksgiving, we are extra grateful for our community and thinking of every victim of the Walmart shooting and their family members,” Chesapeake City Officials said. online said.

“Today we are focusing solely on those injured in Tuesday’s tragic accident, but police investigations are continuing,” officials said, adding that additional information will be made available on Friday.

The dead are Randy Blevins, 70, Lorenzo Gamble, 43, Tyneka Johnson, 22, Brian Pendleton, 38, Kelly Pyle, 52, and a 16-year-old boy, who has not been named because he is a minor, according to authorities. .

As police work to determine the motive for one of at least three mass shootings in Virginia this month, Chesapeake officials announced a vigil for the victims scheduled for Monday night in City Park.

“Chesapeake is a tight-knit community and we are all rocking,” Mayor Rick West said in a message posted online earlier this week. “Together, we will support each other all this time.”

The tragedy, which came as many in the community were preparing to spend the holiday with family and friends, sent an outpouring of grief and shock over the loss of loved ones in yet another mass shooting in the United States.

Another Virginia community was also experiencing the anguish of lives lost in gun violence. About 170 miles west of the Chesapeake, a 22-year-old student at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville was arrested and charged after opening fire on fellow students on November 13, killing three of them on a bus returning to campus from a field trip. to Washington, D.C.

Grief also permeated the Colorado community last weekend, authorities said, when a 22-year-old suspect shot and killed five people at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, leaving 19 others injured.

These shootings, among other things, have put the United States on an ominous trajectory to make 2022 the second-highest year for mass shootings on record, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit organization that began tracking events in 2014.

The shooting in the Chesapeake this week erupted so abruptly that witnesses said they were left in shock and disbelief when they saw the gunman aim a firearm at them.

Walmart employee Kevin Harper said the shooter entered the break room and immediately began shooting.

“He came in there and just started spraying,” Harper said in a social media video.

The gunman was identified as Andre Bing, who had been working overnight as a “team captain”. The company said the 31-year-old had been working at Walmart since 2010. Authorities said he was in possession of a semi-automatic handgun and several magazines of ammunition.

Chesapeake City officials said two victims and the shooter were found in the rest room, another victim was found in front of the store, and three others died at the hospital.

Recently hired, Jesse Wilczewski told CNN that she was at a regularly scheduled meeting when the shooting began.

At first, it “didn’t register as real,” she said, until shots rang out in her chest.

Wilszewski hid under a table while the gunman walked down a nearby corridor. She said she could see some of her co-workers on the floor or lying in chairs — all still and some likely dead. She stayed because she didn’t want to leave them alone.

“I could have walked out that door…and stayed. I stayed so that they would not be alone in their last moments,” Wilczewski said in a letter to the families of the two victims.

When the shooter returned to the break room, Wilczewski said, he told her to get out from under the table and go home.

She said, “I had to touch the door, which was covered (in blood).” “I just remember grabbing my bag and thinking, ‘If he’s going to shoot me in the back — well, he’s going to have to try so hard because I’m running,’ and I booked him. … I didn’t stop until I got to my car and then the meltdown happened.”

Brianna Tyler, also a newly hired employee, said she saw bullets fly inches from her face.

“All of a sudden you just hear pa pa pa pa pa,” Tyler said. “There were people falling on the ground,” she said. Everyone was screaming, gasping, and yeah, he just walked away after that and continued all over the store and kept shooting.

Besides the shootings in Chesapeake this week, gun violence has turned many ordinary places into crime scenes across the country – from schools and supermarkets to hospitals and malls.

Brett Croce, whose nephew Ozea Garcia was killed in a school massacre in Texas this year, described a deep sense of loss without the 10-year-old this holiday season.

A gunman had opened fire inside Rupp Primary School in Uvalde in May, killing 19 fourth-grade students and their teachers before authorities shot him dead.

“It’s been six months since our world was shattered, and I’m supposed to ‘celebrate the holidays,'” Cross wrote in a social media post on Thanksgiving Day. How to be thankful when you have nothing left to give. How do you fake it and smile when you wake up crying.”

In 2018, a former student killed 14 students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. There is more work to be done in combating gun violence, said Fred Guttenberg, the father of 14-year-old Jaime Guttenberg who was killed in that shooting.

“Today we are celebrating Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, many families will do so with an empty seat at the table due to gun violence,” Guttenberg wrote in a post. Share on social media on Thanksgiving.

Nicole Hockley lost her 6-year-old son, Dylan, in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults in 2012.

“My life has been filled with sadness and turmoil. I felt like I was at the bottom of a giant hole from which I could never get out,” Hockley wrote online in a Thanksgiving message.

But in the weeks and months that followed, with the support of those around me, I found a renewed sense of purpose. To prevent other children and families from suffering the same fate.”

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