Fri. Dec 2nd, 2022

A gunman opened fire at a Walmart in Virginia late Tuesday, leaving six people dead, police said, in the nation’s second high-profile mass killing in days. The attacker is also dead.

The Chesapeake store is now safe and will likely be closed for several days during the investigation, Officer Leo Kosinski said early Wednesday morning.

It is not known who the shooter is or what their motive would be.

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“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 tight-knit community and we are all devastated by this news.”

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A database run by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University that tracks every mass murder in America since 2006 shows that this year was particularly bad. The U.S. has had 40 mass murders so far this year, second only to 45 in all of 2019. The database defines a mass murder as at least four people killed, not including the killer.

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

Police work at the scene of a mass shooting at Walmart, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, in Chesapeake, Va.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Tuesday’s shooting recalled another Walmart shooting in 2019, when a gunman who police say was targeting Mexicans opened fire inside a store in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people.

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Kosinski said that he could not say how the attacker died, but that he did not believe that the police had fired.

The shooting apparently stopped when police arrived at the store in Chesapeake, which is Virginia’s second-largest city and is next to the coastal towns of Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

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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 terms were not immediately available.

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

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner said in a tweet that he was “sick of reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at 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 district.”

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