Chesapeake Walmart shooting: Several dead and injured reported in Virginia Tuesday night
A shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia on Tuesday night left several people dead and injured, police said.
Officers responded to the store less than an hour before closing at around 10:12 p.m. and found the victims and evidence of a shooting, Chesapeake Police Public Information Officer Leo Kosinski told CNN.
Details on the exact number of people killed or injured likely won’t be available until Wednesday as investigators were still sweeping the store overnight to look for other victims or people who may be in hiding, Kosinski said. Earlier he said police believed the death toll was “less than ten”.
“We’re only hours away from the initial incident, so everything is very fluid, very new right now,” Kosinski said.
The shooter is believed to be among the dead, Kosinski said, noting that it does not appear law enforcement officers fired during the response.
Investigators believe the shooter was an employee or former store employee who opened fire on other employees in a break room, a law enforcement source told CNN.
The shooter is believed to have at some point turned the gun on himself, the source said.
Chesapeake City officials asked people to stay away from the store during the investigation. “Our first responders are well trained and prepared to respond; please give them space to do so,” the city said in a Tweeter.
“We are shocked by this tragic event at our store in Chesapeake, Virginia,” Walmart said in a statement. “We pray for those affected, the community and our associates. We work closely with law enforcement and are focused on supporting our associates,” the statement read.
Joetta Jeffery told CNN her mother, Betsy Umphlett, texted her from inside the store during the shooting, warning her that someone had opened fire.
“I’m crying, I’m shaking,” Jeffery told CNN. “I was just talking to him about buying turkeys for Thanksgiving, then this text came up.”
Jeffery said his mother was unhurt but in shock and they were reunited.
A reunification center has been set up at the Chesapeake Conference Center, city officials said. They ask that only immediate family and emergency contacts of people who were in the store come to the center.
The local Washington, D.C. office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting local law enforcement with the investigation, the bureau said on Twitter.