Up to 10 people have been killed at a Walmart store in Chesapeake, Virginia, after a gunman – believed to be a manager – opened fire just days before Thanksgiving.
According to witnesses at the scene, one of the managers entered the break room and started shooting at people inside the Sam’s Circle Walmart, located just off Battlefield Boulevard, at around 10.10pm on Tuesday night.
Police said the gunman died during the shooting, and that they found multiple people both injured and deceased when they arrived at the scene. One victim’s dead body was discovered outside, beside the store’s entrance.
The exact number of victims is not yet clear, but a Chesapeake Police Department spokesperson said that no more than 10 people died in the mass shooting. All those injured have been transported to hospitals in the area.
Five patients were being treated for injuries at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, the area’s top trauma center, a spokesperson confirmed.
There are also a number of people believed to be seriously hurt – as over 40 emergency service vehicles swooped to the Walmart supercenter on Tuesday night.
One Walmart employee, standing outside the store after the horrific attack, revealed on social media: ‘It was the manager. One of the managers.’
Referring to the gunman, the shaken staff member added: ‘He blew his brains out and everything. He killed the girl in there and everything. He came in and started spraying. I’m sorry for the victims.
‘I just left the break room, the manager come in there and started capping people up in there, started shooting. Sadly we lost a few of our associates.’
‘It was a traumatic experience,’ he later revealed to DailyMail.com.
A second Walmart employee, who showed up for their nightshift shortly after the shooting, told reporters at the scene: ‘Thank goodness I showed up late.’
The gunman, believed to be a manager at the store, started shooting people in a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia
The shooter is understood to be dead, police said. Cops also confirmed that there could be up to 10 people dead following the tragic ordeal in Walmart
One Walmart employee told his social media followers that his manager walked into the staff room and open fire on his colleagues
Leo Kosinkski with Chesapeake PD briefs the media following the mass shooting at the Walmart store
Police putting out tape after the horrific shooting at the Walmart located just off Battlefield Boulevard in Virginia
Police officer Leo Kosinkski said there were multiple fatalities and injuries and that police were still searching the building, in an update during the early hours of Wednesday morning.
He said: ‘As police arrived on scene, they realized it was an active shooter situation and we had to change our tactics.’
Addressing the fatal shooting, Walmart said in a statement: ‘We are shocked at this tragic event at our Chesapeake, Virginia store. We’re praying for those impacted, the community and our associates. We’re working closely with law enforcement, and we are focused on supporting our associates.’
The full extent of the massacre is currently unclear. The supercenter was open to the public at the time of the shooting – and cops said the Walmart may have been busy as shoppers were preparing for Thanksgiving.
Kosinski said police feared there could be even more people inside the large store, either injured or hiding following the gunshots.
Virginia Beach police responded to assist the Chesapeake Police Department. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in Washington tweeted in the early hours of Wednesday morning that they were also on the way to help with the investigation.
Virginia state Senator Louise Lucas, who represents that portion of Chesapeake, said: ‘I am absolutely heartbroken that America’s latest mass shooting took place in a Walmart in my district in Chesapeake, Virginia tonight.
‘I will not rest until we find the solutions to end this gun violence epidemic in our country that has taken so many lives.’
Member of Congress Representative Elaine Luria posted to Twitter: ‘Enough is enough’.
Virginia senator Mark Warner said: ‘Sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake. I’ll be monitoring developments closely.’
Forty emergency response vehicles attended the scene soon after 10pm on Tuesday night
Emergency service members are seen at the entrance to the Walmart shortly after the shooter rained fire inside
Just last week, another shooting rocked the state of Virginia after three college football players died when a former player opened fire on a field trip bus.
Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., 22, shot into the bus at around 10.15pm, killing three people and injuring two more.
University of Virginia students Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler were killed in the horrific shooting.
Prosecutors told the court that Devin Chandler was sleeping when he was shot dead. The students were returning from a field trip last Sunday when the terror unfolded.
Jones faces second-degree murder and other charges stemming from the shooting, which set off a manhunt and 12-hour campus lockdown before he was apprehended in suburban Richmond.
Jones was remanded in custody without bond and will next appear in court in December at 9.30am.