US Walmart Employee kills six at Virginia store

An employee at a Walmart supermarket in the US state of Virginia has shot dead six people and injured four others, police say.

Officers were called to the scene after the gunman, who has not been named, opened fire on colleagues at the branch in Chesapeake.

He later turned the gun on himself and died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The motive is still unknown. Police are not searching for anyone else in connection with the attack.

The first emergency call was made at 22:12 local time on Tuesday (03:12 GMT Wednesday) and officers arrived at the supermarket within two minutes.

They entered the building shortly after, and the scene was declared safe an hour later once it had been cleared and all the victims had been located.

Processing the crime scene would likely take several days, Police Chief Mark Solesky told a news conference on Wednesday, adding that the investigation was being carried out with the help of the FBI.

He did not identify the attacker, saying their family had not yet been informed.

An eyewitness – who was wearing a Walmart uniform – described what happened in footage that circulated on social media shortly after the attack.

He said he had left a staff room, which a colleague then entered before quickly opening fire. “Sadly we lost a few of our associates,” he said.

One woman told WAVY-TV that her brother, a 20-year-old employee, was shot and wounded just 10 minutes after signing on for work.

But she said her sibling was able to talk to relatives and send texts – saying this was “comforting”.

Another woman, Joetta Jeffery, told CNN that her mother had been inside the building when the attack took place, and had managed to send text messages.

Ms Jeffrey said her mother was not hurt but was in shock.

In a statement, Chesapeake Mayor Rick West – who was unable to attend Wednesday’s news conference because of a Covid-19 diagnosis – said the city was “devastated” by the shooting.

“We’re really shaken by the news,” he said. “We will support each other throughout this time.”

Walmart said it was “shocked at this tragic event” and was “working closely with law enforcement”.

Mark Warner, a Democratic senator for the state of Virginia, tweeted that he was “sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting”.

Virginia state Senator Louise Lucas, also a Democrat, added that she was “absolutely heartbroken”.

She wrote on Twitter: “I will not rest until we find the solutions to end this gun violence epidemic in our country.”

The shooting comes just days after a gunman opened fire at a LGBT nightclub in the US state of Colorado, killing five people and injuring 17 others.

And earlier this month, three American Football players were shot and killed at the University of Virginia.

bbc.com