By ALEX BRANDON
CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — A shooter opened fire in a Walmart in Virginia late Tuesday, leaving six people dead, police said, in the second high-profile mass killing in a handful of days. The assailant is also dead.
The store in Chesapeake is now safe and will likely be closed for several days during the investigation, Officer Leo Kosinski said in the early hours of Wednesday.
The shooting came three days after a person opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado, killing five people and wounding 17. Earlier in the year, the country was shaken by the deaths of 21 when a gunman stormed an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
Tuesday’s shooting also brought back memories of another at a Walmart in 2019, when a gunman police say was targeting Mexicans opened fire at a store in El Paso and killed 22 people.
Earlier, Kosinski said he couldn’t say how the gunman died but that he didn’t believe police fired shots.
The shooting had apparently stopped when police arrived at the store in Chesapeake, which is Virginia’s second-largest city and lies next to the seaside communities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
Mike Kafka, a spokesman for Sentara Healthcare, said in a text message that five patients from the Walmart were being treated at Norfolk General Hospital. Their conditions weren’t immediately available.
Walmart tweeted early Wednesday that it was “shocked at this tragic event.”
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner said in a tweet that he was “sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake.”
State Sen. Louise Lucas echoed Warner’s sentiment, tweeting that she was “absolutely heartbroken that America’s latest mass shooting took place in a Walmart in my district.”
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