Virginia Walmart shooting: Chesapeake churches hold prayer vigils for victims

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Seven people have died, including the suspect, after gunfire erupted at a Virginia Walmart on Tuesday night, police said early Wednesday.

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According to WAVY and WVEC, the shooting occurred shortly after 10 p.m. at a Walmart store off Battlefield Boulevard in Chesapeake.

Here are the latest updates:

Area churches hold prayer vigils

Update 1:35 a.m. EST Nov. 24: Six candles lined an altar at Deep Creek United Methodist Church in Chesapeake on Wednesday night, representing the six victims killed in Tuesday’s shooting at an area Walmart.

Several area churches held prayer vigils after the mass shooting, The Virginian-Pilot reported.

“We are weary. We are tired, exhausted. Many of us perhaps feel we are lacking the words. But tonight is not about getting a definitive answer,” Ryan LaRock, the church’s pastor, told the newspaper. “Tonight we hold a vigil so our sadness, anger, concern, frustration and uncertainty can percolate.”

At St. Thomas Episcopal church, nearly 30 people from Chesapeake community took a moment to pray for the victims, WAVY-TV reported.

“A few of us can stop on behalf of everyone else and say this is not right,” Rev. Mark McKone-Sweet told the television station. “We don’t want this in our community.”

-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Police identify 6 victims

Update 7:26 p.m. EST Nov. 23: Police in Chesapeake identified the six people killed in a mass shooting at a Walmart on Tuesday night.

According to a news release from the city of Chesapeake, the victims were identified as Lorenzo Gamble, 43, of Chesapeake; Brian Pendleton, 38, of Chesapeake; Kellie Pyle, 52, of Chesapeake; Randall Blevins, 70, of Chesapeake; and Tyneka Johnson, 22, of Portsmouth. The sixth victim is a 16-year-old male resident of Chesapeake, the release stated. His name has been withheld because he was a minor.

-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Suspect’s identity confirmed

Update 1:33 p.m. EST Nov. 23: Chesapeake police have confirmed the identity of the suspected shooter as Andre Bing, 31, of Chesapeake.

Police said he had one handgun and several magazines at the time of the shooting.

Earlier, CNN reported that Bing was a “team lead” for the store’s overnight shift. Police said there was only one shooter.

Walmart said in a statement also confirming his identity that Bing has worked for the company since 2010, CNN reported.

Several coworkers spoke with media outlets telling them that Bing could be harsh with some employees and appeared to be paranoid about the government, CNN reported.

“He was always saying the government was watching him. He didn’t like social media and he kept black tape on his phone camera. Everyone always thought something was wrong with him,” former co-worker Shaundrayia Reese said, according to CNN.

- Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group

Police provide updates on victims

Update 12:13 p.m. EST Nov. 23: The Chesapeake police said that three people, including the shooter, were found dead in the store’s breakroom. Another victim died near the front of the store.

A least six victims were taken to area hospitals and now one is listed in critical condition, police said. They are also trying to find out if any victims took themselves for medical help.

- Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group

Flags at half-staff

Update 11:55 a.m. EST Nov. 23: Virginia Gov. Glenn Younkin has ordered all U.S. and Virginia flags be flown at half-staff to remember the victims, WAVY reported.

- Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group

Two in critical condition

Update 11:45 a.m. EST Nov. 23: A doctor from Sentara Norfolk General Hospital said that the hospital received a total of five patients following the shooting.

Dr. Michael Hooper, hospital vice president and chief medical officer, said that two had died, two are listed in critical condition and one is listed in good condition, CNN reported.

Meanwhile, Chesapeake city officials are working with Walmart to provide help for the people who were impacted by the shooting.

The FBI has also been called in to assist in the investigation, including establishing a tip line to gather information about the shooting, government officials said in a Tweet.

- Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group

Biden issues statement

Update 10:00 a.m. EST Nov. 23: President Joe Biden has released a statement calling the shooting “yet another horrific and senseless act of violence,” The Washington Post shared on social media.

- Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group

Virginia governor speaks

Update 9:40 a.m. EST Nov. 23: Virginia Gov. Glenn Younkin called the shooting a “shocking stark reality,” CNN reported.

“We have had two horrific acts of violence in the commonwealth of Virginia in two weeks and that absolutely brings with it a sense of anger, a sense of fear, a sense of deep deep grief,” Younkin said.

Younkin was referring to the shooting at the University of Virginia’s campus in Charlottesville in which three people were killed and two others injured, CNN reported.

- Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group

Employee says alleged shooter was manager

Update 9:17 a.m. EST Nov. 23: A witness told “Good Morning America” that the alleged shooter was their manager.

“I looked up, and my manager just opened the door and he just opened fire,” Briana Tyler said during an interview Wednesday morning.

“He wasn’t aiming at anybody specifically,” she told “Good Morning America.” ”He just literally started shooting throughout the entire break room and I watched multiple people just drop down to the floor, where they were trying to duck for cover or they were hit.”

Tyler said the alleged shooter aimed at her but missed.

“He didn’t say a word, he didn’t say anything at all,” she said. “I literally hadn’t even seen him before that point. He just came around the corner and started shooting. The first person that was in his eyesight, he shot him down and the next thing you know, he just started rigging throughout the entire break room, but he did not say a word.”

- Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group

Suspected shooter was Walmart employee, police say

Update 8:09 a.m. EST Nov. 23: In a news conference Wednesday morning, Chesapeake police Chief Mark Solesky confirmed that the suspected shooter was a Walmart employee.

Investigators believe that the suspect opened fire with a pistol, killing six people before turning the gun on himself, Solesky said. Four others who were hurt in the shooting are being treated at area hospitals, Solesky said, adding that he did not know their conditions.

Solesky said police searched the home of the suspect, who was dead when officers went inside the Walmart.

Authorities have not released the name of the suspect “because his next of kin has not been notified,” Solesky said.

Chesapeake mayor calls shooting ‘senseless act of violence’

Update 8 a.m. EST Nov. 23: In a statement Wednesday morning, Chesapeake Mayor Rick W. West called Tuesday’s shooting a “senseless act of violence.”

“My prayers are with all those affected – the victims, their family, their friends and their co-workers,” the statement read. “I am grateful for the quick actions taken by our first responders who rushed to the scene. Chesapeake is a tight-knit community, and we are all shaken by this news. Together, we will support each other throughout this time. Please keep us in your prayers.”

Virginia governor condemns ‘heinous acts of violence’

Update 6:23 a.m. EST Nov. 23: Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, took to social media Wednesday morning to issue a statement about Tuesday’s deadly shooting in Chesapeake.

“Our hearts break with the community of Chesapeake this morning,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “I remain in contact with law enforcement officials throughout this morning and have made available any resources as this investigation moves forward. Heinous acts of violence have no place in our communities.”

7 dead, including suspect, in Walmart shooting, police say

Update 4:35 a.m. EST Nov. 23: Chesapeake police said seven people, including the shooter, died in Tuesday’s shooting, WAVY reported early Wednesday. The city of Chesapeake also confirmed the news.

Multiple people dead, including suspect, police say

Original report: Multiple people are dead, including the suspect, after gunfire erupted at a Virginia Walmart late Tuesday, authorities said.

According to WAVY and WVEC, the shooting occurred shortly after 10 p.m. at a Walmart store off Battlefield Boulevard in Chesapeake. A Chesapeake police spokesman said fewer than 10 people were killed after the shooter opened fire, the news outlets reported. The suspect is also dead, police said.

A Sentara Healthcare spokesman told The Associated Press that Norfolk General Hospital was treating five people hurt in the incident. The official did not provide details about the patients’ conditions, the news agency reported.

No further details, including the identities of the suspect and victims, were immediately available. The investigation is ongoing.

In a statement early Wednesday, Walmart said it was “shocked” by the “tragic event.”

“We’re praying for those impacted, the community and our associates,” the statement continued. “We’re working closely with law enforcement, and we are focused on supporting our associates.”

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, took to Facebook to say he was “sickened” by the news.

“I’ll be monitoring developments closely,” he wrote. “In the meantime, I urge all those in the community to listen to guidance from local law enforcement and stay away from the scene.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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