A Walmart worker killed six people Tuesday night before taking his own life at the Walmart Supercenter in Chesapeake, Virginia, police said Wednesday.
The gunman was a disgruntled employee, a senior law enforcement official told NBC News.
The massacre came as people were shopping for last-minute Thanksgiving items. The shooting also came days before Black Friday, when shoppers traditionally head to retailers such as Walmart to buy holiday gifts at bargain prices.
CNBC has reached out to Walmart for comment on the shooting and the investigation, as well as about any security concerns ahead of Black Friday.
Walmart, in a Twitter post early Wednesday morning, said it was “shocked” over the shooting. “We’re praying for those impacted, the community and our associates,” the company said. “We’re working closely with law enforcement, and we are focused on supporting our associates.”
In June, Walmart said it added a class to its store manager training program that focuses on spotting employees and customers who may need an intervention for mental health issues. Officials said Wednesday they had yet to determine a “clear motive” for Tuesday’s rampage.
The shooting was reported to police shortly after 10 p.m. ET, and officers arrived on the scene within minutes. Police declared the store safe by 11:20 p.m., officials said Wednesday.
A local hospital was treating other victims. The gunman used a pistol and apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot, police said Wednesday. They didn’t immediately disclose his identity because they had yet to notify his next of kin.
Chesapeake Police and the Virginia State Police executed a search warrant at the suspect’s home, and authorities believe there is no further risk to the public, officials said Wednesday.
The Chesapeake store will remain closed as authorities investigate the shooting. That process could take days, officials said.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday called the shooting a “horrific and senseless act of violence,” and said the country needed to take stronger action on guns.
“We are grateful to the first responders who mobilized to assist victims, and I have directed federal officials to provide any support and assistance needed to the people of Chesapeake,” he said in a statement.
The Walmart massacre came days after a deadly mass shooting over the weekend at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in which five people were killed. In May, a white racist gunman shot up a Buffalo, New York, grocery store, killing 10 people in a predominantly Black neighborhood.
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This is a developing story. Check back for updates.