At least seven dead after ‘manager’ opens fire in Virginia Walmart

( NYPost )

A gunman opened fire in a busy Virginia Walmart on Tuesday night — slaughtering six people in a senseless attack just days before Thanksgiving.

The shooter, believed to the store manager, is also dead.

Officers responded about 10:15 p.m. to a report of a shooting at the Walmart on Sam’s Circle in Chesapeake, where they found multiple people dead or injured, police said.

The city said in a tweet at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday that there were seven fatalities, including the shooter.

A worker claimed the gunman was the store’s manager and he turned his gun on himself after the attack.

“It was wild. It was a manager — one of the managers,” an employee in a Walmart uniform said in a Facebook livestream, explaining that he narrowly avoided being killed in the rampage.

“He blew his brains out and everything. He killed the girl in there and everything. He came in and started spraying. I’m sorry for the victims,” he said.

“I just left the break room … the manager come in there and started capping people up in there, started shooting. Sadly, we lost a few of our associates,” he added as a woman was heard crying at his side.

“It was wild. It was a manager — one of the managers,” an employee in a Walmart uniform said in a Facebook livestream.

Police have not confirmed reports about who the gunman was, but emphasized that the person was dead.

Chesapeake Officer Leo Kosinski couldn’t say how the shooter died but said he didn’t believe police fired shots.

The call reporting the shooting came in at 10:12 p.m. when the Walmart was still open to the public and night shift workers had recently checked in, WAVY reported.

A greeter on duty told the news station that the shooting erupted in the back of the store. One person also was reportedly found dead outside the front entrance.

Stunned current and former Walmart staffers told the news station that the store felt like home.

“I’ve been on the phone with a few other friends who were former employees and customers, and we’re all just in disbelief,” a former employee said Wednesday morning.

Another worker who said she was inside the store at the time of the shooting told WAVY that a teenage worker was among the people shot. 

Outside Norfolk General Hospital, Debra Hazlett said her brother, a longtime Walmart employee, was one of the shooting victims.

She told WAVY that he called his family around 10:18 p.m. and said he’d been shot about 10 minutes after he clocked in for work.

Joetta Jeffery told CNN she received text messages from her mother, Betsy Umphlett, who was inside the store during the shooting.

“I’m crying, I’m shaking. I had just talked to her about buying turkeys for Thanksgiving, then this text came in,” said Jeffery, whose mother was not injured.

“We are shocked at this tragic event at our Chesapeake, Virginia store,” Walmart said in a tweet early Wednesday.

“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,” it added.

Mayor Rick West said in a statement: “I am devastated by the senseless act of violence that took place late last night in our city. Chesapeake is a tightknit community and we are all shaken by this news.”

Gov. Glenn Youngkin also expressed his sorrow.

“Our hearts break with the community of Chesapeake this morning. I remain in contact with law enforcement officials throughout this morning and have made available any resources as this investigation moves forward,” he said in a tweet.

“Heinous acts of violence have no place in our communities,” Youngkin added.

The shooting comes three days after Anderson Lee Aldrich allegedly opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, killing five people and wounding more before being tackled by patrons.

It also brought back memories of a 2019 shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, where a gunman who police said was targeting Mexicans killed 22 people.

US Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) posted on Twitter that he is “sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake.”

State Sen. Louise Lucas also tweeted that she was “absolutely heartbroken that America’s latest mass shooting took place in a Walmart in my district.”

“Saturday Night Live” alum Jay Pharoah wrote on Instagram that the shooting “happened right down the street from my neighborhood in Chesapeake at the Walmart that my family and I have gone to for years.

“My heart is broken for those who aren’t getting a chance to come home and my condolences to the families who have to suffer through their losses,” he added.

Chesapeake, Virginia’s second-largest city, lies next to the seaside communities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

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