A Walmart employee opened fire, killing six people and wounding several others before fatally shooting himself at a store in Chesapeake, Virginia.
The Tuesday (local time) attack came during a busy holiday week and is the latest episode of mass gun violence in America.
Chesapeake police chief Mark Solesky said the shooter was found dead at the scene:
“While our investigation continues, we can tell you the following: six victims have died; four victims are in area hospitals with conditions unknown at this time. And the suspect is dead from what we believe was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The Chesapeake Police SWAT team executed a search warrant at the suspect’s residence and with the help of the Virginia State Police, we cleared the house. We have reason to believe that there’s no risk to the public at this time.”
The bloodshed comes just days after a gunman killed five and injured 17 at a Colorado LGBTQ nightclub.
Just nine days before the attack on Walmart, three members of the University of Virginia football team were shot and killed after a suspect opened fire on a bus full of students.
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, who was already facing stepped-up calls for policies to address gun violence in the wake of the UVA killings, said he had offered local law enforcement assistance in its investigation.
“Heinous acts of violence have no place in our communities,” Youngkin wrote on Twitter.
U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday called the Walmart shooting “yet another horrific and senseless act of violence,” vowing any federal resources needed to aid in the investigation.
Walmart employee Briana Tyler told ABC News that the shooter was a manager at the store, saying,
“I looked up and my manager just opened the door and he just opened fire.”
It is not the first mass shooting at a Walmart, which has thousands of stores across the United States.
At a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, in August 2019, 23 people were killed in a mass shooting near the U.S.-Mexico border in an act described as domestic terrorism by law enforcement. It was also the deadliest attack on the Hispanic community in modern times.
Walmart said in a statement early Wednesday that it was “shocked” at the violence and that it was working closely with law enforcement.