CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A witness at the deadly mass shooting inside a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, on Tuesday evening claims the suspect was a manager and the shooting was planned. Police have confirmed that seven people, including the suspect, are dead.
In a press conference Wednesday morning, police said the suspect died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and also confirmed the shooter was an employee. Five patients were transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk. Two of those patients later died, while two remain in critical condition and one patient is listed in good condition, officials said.
The call reporting the shooting came in at 10:12 p.m. Tuesday, when the Walmart Supercenter was still open to the public. Night-shift workers had just recently clocked in.
According to the witness, there were 14 employees in a meeting room waiting to learn their duties for the day when the shooting began. WAVY is still working to confirm the witness information with authorities.
The witness added that she believes the shooting was planned and targeted other managers at that specific Walmart. At one point, she said she heard the suspect laughing. “It didn’t even look real until you could feel the gun go off,” said the witness, who was only on her fifth day working at that Walmart. “I will never go back in that store again. I cannot, I can’t even leave my front door.”
The witness claims the shooter “had issues” with other managers at that Walmart, which led her to believe the shooting was planned. During Wednesday’s press conference, Chesapeake police said they expect the investigation process to last for “days.” The Walmart will remain closed during that time.
In the meantime, anyone looking for information about a loved one who works at that Walmart, or may have been inside the store, is being directed to the Chesapeake Conference Center. “We are shocked at this tragic event at our Chesapeake, Virginia store,” Walmart wrote in a statement on Wednesday morning. “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.”