Six people die in Walmart shooting in Virginia
Six people and the assailant have died after a shooting at a Walmart store in Virginia, US police said.
The store in Chesapeake is now safe and will likely be closed for several days during the investigation, Officer Leo Kosinski said early on Wednesday.
It is not clear who the shooter was or what their motive might be.
Mayor Rick W West said in a statement posted on the city’s Twitter account: “I am devastated by the senseless act of violence that took place late last night in our city.
“Chesapeake is a tightknit community and we are all shaken by this news.”
A database run by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University that tracks every mass killing in America going back to 2006 shows this year has been especially bad. The US has now had 40 mass killings so far this year, second to the 45 that occurred for all of 2019.
The database defines a mass killing as at least four people killed, not including the killer.
It marks the second high-profile shooting in the US in recent days, after five people were killed at a gay nightclub in Colorado on Saturday.
The shootings also come in a year when America was shaken by the deaths of 21 people when a gunman stormed an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
Tuesday’s shooting also brought back memories of another that took place at a Walmart in 2019, when a gunman police say was targeting Mexicans opened fire at a store in El Paso and killed 22 people.
Earlier, Mr Kosinski could not say how the gunman died, but added that he did not believe police had fired any shots.
The shooting had apparently stopped by the time officers arrived at the store in Chesapeake, which is Virginia’s second-largest city and lies next to the seaside communities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
Mike Kafka, a spokesman for Sentara Healthcare, said in a text message that five patients from the Walmart were being treated at Norfolk General Hospital.
Walmart tweeted early on Wednesday that it was “shocked at this tragic event”.
US senator Mark Warner said in a tweet that he was “sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake”.
State senator Louise Lucas echoed this sentiment, tweeting that she was “absolutely heartbroken that America’s latest mass shooting took place in a Walmart in my district”.
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