A Walmart Inc. employee opened fire in a Virginia store late Tuesday, killing six people before taking his own life, police said.
Four people are in the hospital with injuries from the attack, Mark Solesky, chief of police in Chesapeake, Virginia, said Wednesday without providing details on their condition. The shooter used a pistol and appears to have acted alone, he said.
The Chesapeake killings add to a grim list of high-profile shootings that have erupted just before the Thanksgiving holiday. Five people were killed over the weekend at a nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Earlier this month, three members of the University of Virginia football team were killed in Charlottesville by a former player.
Walmart is working closely with authorities, the company said in a statement on Twitter.
More than 600 mass shootings have occurred this year in the US, according to Gun Violence Archive.
The attack happened less than an hour before the US retailer’s Supercenter store was due to close, according to Chesapeake Police spokesperson Leo Kosinski. According to the Associated Press, the shooter was a manager who opened fire on employees in the break room.
The first call to 911 was received at 10:12 p.m., Solesky said. Responding police officers arrived two minutes later and entered the store two minutes after that, he said. The assailant was found dead at the store. His name has yet to be released because authorities are still in the process of notifying his next of kin.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said on Twitter that its officers were on the way to Chesapeake to assist the investigation.
The Virginia attack occurred just over three years since a mass shooting in a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, where 23 people died as they browsed during the back-to-school shopping season. A further 26 people were injured in that attack, which prompted the retailer to curtail ammunition sales and stop selling handguns in Alaska, the only state where it still offered them at the time.
–With assistance from Maria Luiza Rabello.
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