Survivors and investigators are spending the Thanksgiving holiday debating the motivation of an employee who opened fire on coworkers, murdering six of them before fatally turning the pistol on himself, at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, where a regular workday turned deadly. Just after 10 p.m. on Tuesday, while workers were getting ready for a midnight shift, a manager brandished a firearm in the break room, according to authorities.
Randy Blevins, 70, Lorenzo Gamble, 43, Tyneka Johnson, 22, Brian Pendleton, 38, Kellie Pyle, 52, and a 16-year-old boy, who isn’t being named because he’s a child, were all recognized as the victims by the authorities.
One victim of the shooting was released from the hospital on Wednesday, while two victims of the incident remained in the hospital on Thanksgiving in critical condition.
“This is a community that I am really familiar with. And I am confident that we will band together and support the families of the victims, said Chesapeake Mayor Rick West in a video address on Wednesday.
The tragedy has left many mourning the loss of loved ones and survivors traumatized from what they experienced. It is just another illustration of how horrifying gun violence upends American life in the most typical situations. Questions about what might have precipitated the killings persist as the complicated process of processing those emotions get underway.
When the shooter started firing at other employees, Donya Prioleau claimed to be inside the staff break room.
Prioleau remarked, “We don’t know what drove him to do this. “None of us can comprehend how it occurred.”
Andre Bing, a “team lead” who worked overnight, was named as the shooter. According to the corporation, the 31-year-old started working for Walmart in 2010. He allegedly owned one semi-automatic handgun and multiple ammunition magazines, according to the authorities.
Three of Prioleau’s friends were killed by Bing “before I took off running.” Until some of us saw all the blood on the floor, the other half of us didn’t think it was real, she added.
According to Chesapeake city officials, the gunman and two of the dead victims were discovered in the break room. Three further victims passed away in the hospital. Because some victims might have driven themselves to hospitals, officials were still working to determine the precise number of injuries.
According to a tweet from the city, the mayor intends to conduct a vigil Monday night at City Park.
According to a tweet from authorities on Thursday, “today we are focusing only on those affected by Tuesday’s awful accident, but the police investigation continues and we expect to have new information available tomorrow.”
According to Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky, the reason for the shooting is still unknown as of Thursday.
Other workers claimed that the shooter had previously shown some unsettling behaviour.
From 2015 through 2018, the shooter’s coworker Shaundrayia Reese described him as a recluse.
“He frequently claimed that he was being watched by the authorities. He kept the black tape on his phone camera because he disliked social media. Everyone had the impression that he had a problem, according to Reese.
Lashana Hicks (left) joins other mourners Wednesday at a memorial for those killed in a mass shooting at a Walmart Supercenter in Chesapeake, Virginia.
The shooter allegedly made menacing threats if he ever lost his job, according to Joshua Johnson, a former maintenance worker at the store. He declared that if he ever lost his job, he would take revenge and become well-known, according to Johnson.
The shootings this week were at least the third mass shooting in Virginia this month, according to the Gun Violence Archive. They took place in the midst of the national mourning that many Americans are going through this Thanksgiving as a result of loved ones who were killed or hurt in shootings.
On November 13, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student in Charlottesville is accused of opening fire on classmates while riding a bus back to campus from a field trip to Washington, DC, killing three of them. Charlottesville is only 170 miles west of Chesapeake.
Authorities reported that a 22-year-old opened fire at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs over the weekend, killing five people and injuring 19. Additionally, a gunman in Uvalde, Texas, murdered 19 kids and two teachers on this day six months ago, causing a tragedy for which the victims are still looking for closure.
“How do you rejoice when your life is in ruins? When you have nothing left to offer, how do you express gratitude? Regarding his nephew Uziyah Garcia, who was slain in Uvalde, Brett Cross wrote on Thursday, “How can you fake it and smile when you wake up crying?”
Overall, the US has suffered more than 600 mass shootings so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Both the nonprofit and CNN define mass shootings as those in which four or more people are shot, not including the assailant.
In response to the problem, former US Representative Gabby Giffords of Arizona, who suffered catastrophic injuries in a mass shooting in 2011, tweeted on Thanksgiving Eve: “We cannot continue to be the nation of gun violence and mass shootings. This is not how we can live. We must take action.