Six victims have been killed and a gunman is dead following a mass shooting at a Walmart store in Chesapeake, Virginia, where an employee reportedly opened fire on colleagues inside the store break room.
More than 40 emergency vehicles were rushed to the Walmart outlet on Battlefield Boulevard after a 911 call was made at 10.12 pm local time on Tuesday.
At least five injured people were rushed to the Norfolk General Hospital for treatment, Sentara Healthcare spokesperson Mike Kafka said.
In a late-night press conference, Chesapeake Police Department spokesperson Leo Kosinski confirmed that the gunman was dead.
He said he doesn’t believe responding officers fired shots, but it was unclear whether the shooter was dead of a self-inflicted gunshot.
Officers believe that the shooter was an employee or a former employee who opened fire inside the break room of the store, a law enforcement source told CNN.
A man who identified himself as a store worker posted a video on social media from outside the store on Tuesday night in the aftermath of the shooting.
In the video, he claimed he had just left the break room when “one of the managers” entered “and just started spraying” bullets.
“I’d just left out of the break room, manager come up in there, started capping people up in there, started shooting, bro. The manager came in, started dumping, man. As soon as I left out the break room he went in there, man... that s*** wild,” he says in the video.
Mr Harper claims it was “one of the managers” and that other “associates” died in the attack.
“It’s wild, though, it was the manager, one of the managers,” he says.
“Blew people’s brains out and everything... He came in and just started spraying and s***,” he adds.
“Sadly, though, we lost a few of our associates, I don’t know how many.”
Police have not confirmed the identities of the victims or the shooter.
An employee who worked at the Chesapeake outlet for 20 years was rushed to the hospital with bullet injuries, his kin told WAVY News. The employee called his family around 10.18pm local time informing them that he’d been shot.
The law enforcement spokesperson said when the police responded to the scene, they realised that it was an active shooting situation and changed their tactics accordingly. "Over the course of next 30-40 minutes, we were able to find multiple fatalities and multiple injured parties."
Police said a family reunification site has been set up at the Chesapeake Conference Centre. This site is only for “immediate family members or the emergency contact of those who may have been in the building”, they said.
Walmart in a statement early on Wednesday said “we are shocked at this tragic event” at their Chesapeake outlet.
The company said: “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.”
Several Virginia lawmakers released statements condemning the violence.
Virginia state senator Louise Lucas in a tweet late on Tuesday said she was “absolutely heartbroken” that America’s latest mass shooting took place in a Walmart in her district of Chesapeake.
She added: “I will not rest until we find the solutions to end this gun violence epidemic in our country that has taken so many lives.”
Senator Mark Warner said he was “sickened” by the reports of the mass shooting and will be “monitoring the developments closely”.
“Sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake,” Mr Warner said in a tweet. “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 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reportedly working with Chesapeake Police in the probe.
Tuesday’s shooting took place just three days after five people were killed and over a dozen people suffered injuries when a gunman opened fire at an LGBT+ nightclub in Colorado springs.