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Police: 6 people and gunman dead in shooting at Walmart in Virginia

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — A gunman opened fire at a Walmart store in Virginia late Tuesday, killing six people, police said, in the nation’s second high-profile mass killing in days. The attacker also died.

The Chesapeake store is now safe and will likely be closed for several days while the investigation is conducted, Officer Leo Kasinski said in the early hours of Wednesday.

It is not yet known who fired the shots and what their motive might have been.

“I am devastated by the senseless act of violence that occurred late last night in our city,” Mayor Rick W. West said in a statement posted on the city’s Twitter account. “Chesapeake is a close-knit community and we are all shocked by this news.”

Database maintained by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University tracks every mass murder in America, going back to 2006, that year’s showings were particularly bad. The U.S. currently has 40 mass murders this year, second only to the 45 that occurred in all of 2019. The database defines mass murder as the killing of at least four people, excluding the killer.

The Walmart attack came three days after the man opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado, killing five people and injuring 17. Earlier this year, the country was rocked 21 people were killed when a gunman stormed an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Tuesday’s shooting also brought to mind another shooting at Walmart in 2019, when armed man the police say was aimed at Mexicans opened fire at a convenience store in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people.

Kasinski said he could not say how the shooter died but did not believe police fired.

The shooting appeared to have stopped when police arrived at the store in Chesapeake, Virginia’s second-largest city, which is close 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 Walmart are being treated at Norfolk General Hospital. Their terms were not immediately available.

Walmart tweeted early Wednesday that it was “shocked by this tragic event.”

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner tweeted that he was “saddened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake.”

State Sen. Louise Lucas echoed Warner’s sentiments, tweeting that she was “absolutely heartbroken that the latest mass shooting in America happened at a Walmart in my neighborhood.”


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