CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — A Walmart supervisor pulled out a handgun earlier than a routine worker assembly and started firing wildly across the break room of a Virginia retailer, killing six individuals within the nation’s second high-profile mass taking pictures in 4 days, police and witnesses mentioned.

The gunman was lifeless when officers arrived late Tuesday on the retailer in Chesapeake, Virginia’s second-largest metropolis. Authorities mentioned he apparently shot himself. Police had been attempting to find out a motive. One worker described watching “our bodies drop” because the assailant fired haphazardly, with out saying a phrase.

“He was simply taking pictures all all through the room. It didn’t matter who he hit. He didn’t say something. He didn’t take a look at anyone in any particular sort of manner,” Briana Tyler, a Walmart worker, mentioned Wednesday.

Briana Tyler speaks with The Associated Press and uses her hands like a gun as she demonstrates the gunman shooting indiscriminately, as she talks about witnessing the mass shooting at a Walmart, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, in Chesapeake, Va.
Briana Tyler speaks with The Related Press and makes use of her arms like a gun as she demonstrates the gunman taking pictures indiscriminately, as she talks about witnessing the mass taking pictures at a Walmart, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, in Chesapeake, Va.

Alex Brandon through Related Press

Six individuals had been wounded within the taking pictures, which occurred simply after 10 p.m. as consumers had been stocking up forward of the Thanksgiving vacation. Police mentioned they imagine about 50 individuals had been within the retailer on the time.

A law enforcement investigator wears a protective covering as they work the scene of a mass shooting at a Walmart, on Nov. 23, 2022, in Chesapeake, Va.
A regulation enforcement investigator wears a protecting masking as they work the scene of a mass taking pictures at a Walmart, on Nov. 23, 2022, in Chesapeake, Va.

Alex Brandon through Related Press

The gunman was recognized as Andre Bing, 31, an in a single day staff chief who had been a Walmart worker since 2010. Police mentioned he had one handgun and several other magazines of ammunition.

This photo provided by Virginia DMV shows Andre Bing. Bing, a Walmart manager, opened fire on fellow employees in the break room of a Virginia store, killing six people in the country’s second high-profile mass shooting in four days, police and witnesses said Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.
This photograph supplied by Virginia DMV reveals Andre Bing. Bing, a Walmart supervisor, opened hearth on fellow staff within the break room of a Virginia retailer, killing six individuals within the nation’s second high-profile mass taking pictures in 4 days, police and witnesses mentioned Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022.

Virginia DMV/Chesapeake Police through Related Press

Tyler mentioned the in a single day stocking staff of 15 to twenty individuals had simply gathered within the break room to go over the morning plan. She mentioned the assembly was about to start out, and one staff chief mentioned: “All proper guys, we have now a light-weight night time forward of us.” Then Bing rotated and opened hearth on the workers.

At first, Tyler doubted the taking pictures was actual, considering that it was an energetic shooter drill.

“It was all occurring so quick,” she mentioned, including: “It’s by the grace of God {that a} bullet missed me. I noticed the smoke leaving the gun, and I actually watched our bodies drop. It was loopy.”

Police mentioned three of the lifeless, together with Bing, had been discovered within the break room. One of many slain victims was discovered close to the entrance of the shop. Three others had been taken to hospitals the place they died.

A first responder checks a parked car at the scene of a mass shooting at a Walmart, on Nov. 23, 2022, in Chesapeake, Va.
A primary responder checks a parked automotive on the scene of a mass taking pictures at a Walmart, on Nov. 23, 2022, in Chesapeake, Va.

Alex Brandon through Related Press

Tyler, who began working at Walmart two months in the past and had labored with Bing only a night time earlier, mentioned she by no means had a destructive encounter with him, however others instructed her he was “the supervisor to look out for.” She mentioned Bing had a historical past of writing individuals up for no purpose.

“He simply appreciated to select, actually. I believe he simply seemed for little issues … as a result of he had the authority. That’s simply the kind of individual that he was. That’s what lots of people mentioned about him,” she mentioned.

Worker Jessie Wilczewski told Norfolk tv station WAVY that she hid beneath a desk, and Bing seemed and pointed his gun at her. He instructed her to go house, and he or she left.

Police mentioned the lifeless included a 16-year-old boy whose identify was being withheld due to his age. The opposite victims had been recognized as Brian Pendleton, 38; Kellie Pyle, 52; Lorenzo Gamble, 43; and Randy Blevins, 70, who had been all from Chesapeake; and Tyneka Johnson, 22, of close by Portsmouth.

This combination of photos provided by the Chesapeake, Va., Police Department shows top from left, Tyneka Johnson, Brian Pendleton and Randy Blevins, and, bottom from left, Kellie Pyle and Lorenzo Gamble, who Chesapeake police identified as victims of a shooting that occurred on Nov. 22, 2022, at a Walmart in Chesapeake.
This mixture of pictures supplied by the Chesapeake, Va., Police Division reveals prime from left, Tyneka Johnson, Brian Pendleton and Randy Blevins, and, backside from left, Kellie Pyle and Lorenzo Gamble, who Chesapeake police recognized as victims of a taking pictures that occurred on Nov. 22, 2022, at a Walmart in Chesapeake.

Chesapeake Police Division through Related Press

It was not instantly clear whether or not they had been staff or consumers.

Pyle was a “beautiful, beneficiant and type individual,” mentioned Gwendolyn Bowe Baker Spencer, who mentioned that her son and Pyle had plans to marry subsequent yr. Pyle had grownup youngsters in Kentucky who can be touring to Virginia, Spencer mentioned.

“We love her,” Spencer mentioned, including: “She was an superior, type particular person.”

Flowers and balloons have been placed near the scene of a mass shooting at a Walmart, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, in Chesapeake, Va.
Flowers and balloons have been positioned close to the scene of a mass taking pictures at a Walmart, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, in Chesapeake, Va.

Alex Brandon through Related Press

The assault was the second time in a little bit greater than per week that Virginia has skilled a serious taking pictures. Three College of Virginia soccer gamers had been fatally shot on a charter bus as they returned to campus from a area journey on Nov. 13. Two different college students had been wounded.

The assault on the Walmart got here days after an individual opened fire at a homosexual nightclub in Colorado Springs, killing 5 individuals and wounding 17. Final spring, the nation was shaken by the deaths of 21 when a gunman stormed an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Tuesday night time’s taking pictures additionally introduced again recollections of another attack at a Walmart in 2019, when a gunman who focused Mexicans opened hearth at a retailer in El Paso, Texas, and killed 23 individuals.

A database run by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University that tracks each mass killing in America going again to 2006 reveals that the U.S. has now had 40 mass killings to this point in 2022. That compares with 45 for all of 2019, the best yr within the database, which defines a mass killing as no less than 4 individuals killed, not together with the killer.

In keeping with the database, greater than 1 / 4 of the mass killings have occurred since Oct. 21, spanning eight states and claiming 51 lives. 9 of these 11 incidents had been shootings.

President Joe Biden tweeted that he and the primary girl had been grieving, including: “We mourn for many who could have empty seats at their Thanksgiving desk due to these tragic occasions.”

Kimberly Shupe, mom of Walmart worker Jalon Jones, instructed reporters her 24-year-old son was shot within the again. She mentioned he was in good situation and speaking Wednesday, after initially being positioned on a ventilator.

Shupe mentioned she discovered of the taking pictures from a pal, who went to a household reunification heart to study Jones’ whereabouts.

“If he’s not answering his cellphone, he’s not answering textual content messages and there’s a taking pictures at his job, you simply form of put two and two collectively,” Shupe mentioned. “It was shock at first, however in the end, I simply saved considering, ‘he’s going to be all proper.’”

Walmart mentioned in an announcement that it was working with regulation enforcement and “centered on doing all the pieces we are able to to help our associates and their households.”

Within the aftermath of the El Paso taking pictures, the corporate decided in September 2019 to discontinue gross sales of sure sorts of ammunition and requested that prospects not overtly carry firearms in shops.

It stopped promoting handgun ammunition in addition to short-barrel rifle ammunition, such because the .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber utilized in navy fashion weapons.

The corporate stopped promoting handguns within the mid-Nineties in each state however Alaska, the place gross sales continued till 2019. The modifications marked an entire exit from that enterprise and allowed Walmart to concentrate on looking rifles and associated ammunition solely.

A lot of its shops are in rural areas the place hunters rely upon Walmart to get their gear.

Tyler’s grandfather, Richard Tate, mentioned he dropped his granddaughter off for her 10 p.m. shift, then parked the automotive and went in to purchase some dish cleaning soap.

When he first heard the photographs, he thought it may very well be balloons popping. However he quickly noticed different prospects and staff fleeing, and he ran too.

Tate reached his automotive and referred to as his granddaughter.

“I might inform that she was upset,” he mentioned. “However I might additionally inform that she was alive.”

Contributing to this report had been Related Press writers Denise Lavoie in Chesapeake; Michael Kunzelman and Sarah Brumfield in Silver Spring, Maryland; Matthew Barakat in Falls Church, Virginia; Hannah Schoenbaum in Raleigh, North Carolina; Anne D’Innocenzio and Alexandra Olson in New York; information researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York; and video journalist Nathan Ellgren in Chesapeake.