Chesapeake municipal government shares location for family reunifications
Biden condemns ‘horrific’ Virginia Walmart shooting
President Joe Biden lamented the loss of lives in the shooting, noting in a statement Wednesday that “yet another horrific and senseless act of violence” happened on the eve of Thanksgiving.
“There are now even more tables across the country that will have empty seats this Thanksgiving,” he said. “There are now more families who know the worst kind of loss and pain imaginable.”
Biden said that he and first lady Jill Biden are grieving for the families of the shooting victims, the Chesapeake community and the commonwealth of Virginia, which suffered a “terrible shooting” at the University of Virginia earlier this month.
“We also mourn for all those across America who have lost loved ones to these tragic shootings that we must come together as a nation to stand against,” Biden said, adding that he is grateful to the first responders on the scene.
The president said he has directed federal officials to provide the support and assistance needed to the people of Chesapeake.
Obama calls for action against gun violence after Chesapeake shooting
Former President Barack Obama, who repeatedly called for tougher gun control measures during his time in office but was met with stiff resistance from Congress, called for action Wednesday morning after the mass shooting in Virginia.
“We can and must do more to reduce gun violence in America,” he tweeted, linking to a news article about the shooting at a Walmart store in Chesapeake.
Rumors of an active shooter at a Chesapeake Target store are untrue, officials say
Chesapeake city officials said rumors circulating on social media Wednesday morning of an active shooter at a local Target store are untrue.
“Rumors of an active shooter at Target in Chesapeake are UNTRUE,” officials tweeted from the city’s account. “Please help us control rumors by only sharing information from this account.”
Elizabeth Vaughn, the city’s deputy director of public communications, told NBC News in an email that “police responded to reports of an armed person but found this to be untrue.”
Chesapeake police confirm Walmart employee killed 6 people, wounded 4
What we know about the Walmart shooter
Authorities have not yet released the identity of the shooter or a possible motive.
At a Wednesday morning news conference, Chesapeake Police Department Chief Mark Solesky said the shooter was an employee of the store and died from what authorities suspect was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities believe the shooter used a pistol.
Solesky said the shooter’s relatives had not yet been notified of his death. He said officials executed a search warrant at the suspect’s home.
FBI assisting Walmart shooting investigation, agency says
The FBI’s press office said the national law enforcement agency is assisting the Chesapeake Police Department in its investigation of Tuesday night’s shooting.
The city police department, which held a press conference earlier Wednesday in which it revealed the shooter was an employee of the store, remains the lead agency in the probe surrounding the shooting, the FBI said.
Walmart says it is ‘shocked’ after shooting at Chesapeake store
“We are shocked at this tragic event at our Chesapeake, Virginia, store,” a spokesperson for the retail giant said in a statement. “We’re praying for those impacted, the community and our associates.”
The spokesman added that the company was working closely with law enforcement and “focused on supporting our associates.”
Walmart has over 100 retail locations in Virginia and employs over 45,000 store associates in the state, according to the corporation’s website.
Walmart attack is 2nd mass shooting in Virginia, 7th in U.S. since Friday, Gun Violence Archive says
The Walmart shooting in Virginia by a disgruntled employee is the second mass shooting in the state and the seventh in the United States since Friday, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
The seven shootings account for 22 deaths and 36 injuries, the archive said. The nonprofit group defines a mass shooting as a single incident in which at least four people — other than the person wielding the weapon — are shot.
NBC News previously reported that this is the third straight year that there have been more than 600 multiple-victim shootings in America, according to the archive.
Police provide a timeline of the law enforcement response
Chesapeake Police Chief Mark G. Solesky spoke to reporters at a news conference Wednesday morning and gave a rundown of the law enforcement response to the shooting:
- The first 911 call came in at 10:12 p.m. ET
- Police officers first entered the store four minutes later, at 10:16 p.m. ET.
- The scene was declared “safe” roughly an hour later, at 11:20 p.m. ET.
Sens. Warner, Kaine of Virginia condemn the violence
Virginia’s two Democratic senators — Mark Warner and Tim Kaine — decried the mass shooting at the Walmart store in Chesapeake.
“Sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake. I’ll be monitoring developments closely,” Warner said in a tweet just after midnight.
“The Walmart shooting in Chesapeake is horrific. My prayers to all affected and my thanks to brave first responders,” Kaine tweeted early Wednesday.
“Both Congress and the Virginia General Assembly have taken steps, finally, to reduce gun violence, but there is so much more to do,” the former Democratic vice presidential contender added.
Shooting described on Facebook
A self-described survivor posted a Facebook live video showing the aftermath of the tragedy. The person was in the store’s bakery section when the shooting began, according to the post.
At first, the person said, the shots sounded like “fireworks.”
“People gone bro,” the person said in the video. “In the aisle. Just walked out that aisle, bro.” NBC News has contacted the poster of the video for comment and has not yet been able to verify the account.
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