Updated Nov 25, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Chesapeake shooting suspect wrote "death note" before massacre

Alexandra Bernier listens to a prayer during a vigil at St. Thomas Episcopal Church for those killed in a fatal shooting at a Walmart on November 23, 2022 in Chesapeake, Virginia

Alexandra Bernier listens to a prayer during a vigil at St. Thomas Episcopal Church for those killed in a fatal shooting at a Walmart on November 23 in Chesapeake, Virginia. Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images

A shooting at a Walmart store in Chesapeake, Virginia on Tuesday night left six people dead and four people injured, Chesapeake Police said Wednesday.

The latest: The suspected shooter in the attack purchased a pistol on the morning of the mass shooting and left a note on his phone that outlined his plan to target some of his colleagues, according to city officials.

  • The suspected shooter was identified as Andre Bing, 31. He used a 9mm handgun in the attack, per city officials.
  • The gunman had no criminal history, city officials said.
  • "My God forgive me for what I’m going to do…" the note said, per images shared by city officials on Twitter.
  • Two of the victims and the shooter were found deceased in the break room of the Walmart, Chesapeake officials wrote on Twitter. One victim was found toward the front of the store.
  • The city released the victims' names Wednesday evening: Lorenzo Gamble, Brian Pendleton, Kellie Pyle, Randall Blevins and Tyneka Johnson.
  • City officials on Friday also confirmed the death of 16-year-old Fernando Chavez-Barron, who had been unidentified because he was a minor.
  • Officials did not include additional details, but Walmart spokesperson Robert Arrieta confirmed that all six victims were Walmart associates.

Details: The shooter died from what officials believe to be self-inflicted gunshot wounds, Chief Mark Solesky said Wednesday.

  • Bing was identified as an overnight team lead who had worked at Walmart since 2010, the company said in a statement.
  • Chesapeake Police believe that there were at least 50 people in the store at the time of the shooting, per a media release on Wednesday afternoon.
  • "Investigators are actively working to learn more about the suspect's background and what may have motivated the shooting," per the release,
  • The Chesapeake SWAT team executed a search warrant at the suspect's house.
  • The Walmart store is expected to be closed for several days while detectives investigate the crime scene, according to Chesapeake Police.
  • The investigation into the shooting is still ongoing, Solesky said. "There is no clear motive at this time," he said.

The big picture: The gun violence at Walmart comes just three days after a mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs left five people dead.

  • There have been more than 600 mass shootings in the U.S. this year, according to Gun Violence Archive — which defines a mass shooting as having at least four people injured or killed, not including the shooter.

What they're saying: "The devastating news of last night's shooting ... at the hands of one of our associates has hit our Walmart family hard," Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon said in an update Wednesday evening.

  • "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," McMillon added, thanking Walmart associates, first responders and local officials providing help on site.

The company had said in a statement Tuesday that it was working with law enforcement in their investigation.

  • "We are shocked at this tragic event ... We are focused on doing everything we can to support our associates and their families at this time."

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) tweeted early Wednesday: "Sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake. I'll be monitoring developments closely."

U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) tweeted: "Tragically, our community is suffering from yet another incident of senseless gun violence just as families are gathering for Thanksgiving. My thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones."

President Biden expressed his condolences in a statement: "Jill and I grieve for those families, for the Chesapeake community, and for the Commonwealth of Virginia, which just suffered a terrible shooting at the University of Virginia this month."

  • "Because of yet another horrific and senseless act of violence, there are now even more tables across the country that will have empty seats this Thanksgiving. There are now more families who know the worst kind of loss and pain imaginable," Biden said.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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