Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Moments Before Walmart Shooting Revealed By Employees, Police Identify Shooter

Employees of Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia  – and witnesses to the mass shooting – are now speaking about what happened moments before a store manager allegedly opened fire in a break room killing six people.

Chesapeake police have identified the gunman, who apparently shot and killed himself, as 31-year-old Andre Bing of Chesapeake. Officials say Bing had one handgun and several magazines at the time of the shooting.

Employee Briana Tyler said the overnight stocking team of 15 to 20 people had just gathered in the break room to go over the morning plan. She said the meeting was about to start, and a team leader said: “All right guys, we have a light night ahead of us,” when another team leader, who was identified by Walmart as Andre Bing, turned around and opened fire on the staff.

“It is by the grace of God that a bullet missed me,” Tyler said. “I saw the smoke leaving the gun, and I literally watched bodies drop. It was crazy.”

Officials said on the city’s Twitter account that three of the dead, including the gunman, were found in the break room. One of the slain victims was found near the front of the store. Three others were taken to hospitals where they died of their wounds. They did not say whether or not the victims were employees.

Walmart said in a statement that Bing was an overnight team leader and had been with the company since 2010.

At first, Tyler didn’t think the shooting was real. “It was all happening so fast. I thought it was like a test type of thing. Like, if you do have an active shooter, this is how you respond.”

Tyler, who worked with Bing just the night before, said he did not aim at anyone specific.

“He was just shooting all throughout the room. It didn’t matter who he hit. He didn’t say anything. He didn’t look at anybody in any specific type of way.”

Tyler, who started at Walmart two months ago, said she never had a negative encounter with Bing, but others told her that he was “the manager to look out for.” She said Bing had a history of writing people up for no reason.

“He just liked to pick, honestly. I think he just looked for little things to go about, because he had the authority. That’s just the type of person that he was. That’s what a lot of people said about him,” she said.

A neighbor, Alicia McDuffie, said police “swarmed the whole street” in the middle of the night and forced their way into Bing’s house. Her mother, Vera McDuffie, saw officers approach Bing’s front door with a battering ram.

Employee Jessie Wilczewski told Norfolk television station WAVY that she hid under the table, and Bing looked and pointed his gun at her. He told her to go home, and she left.

“It didn’t even look real until you could feel the … ‘pow-pow-pow,’ you can feel it,” Wilczewski said. “I couldn’t hear it at first because I guess it was so loud, I could feel it.”

Chesapeake Mayor Rick W. West expressed gratitude for first responders’ quick actions and said he was “devastated by the senseless act of violence.”

“Chesapeake is a tight-knit community, and we are all shaken by this news,” West said in a statement on Twitter.

Walmart said in a statement that it was working with law enforcement and “focused on doing everything we can to support our associates and their families.”

Tyler’s grandfather, Richard Tate, said he dropped his granddaughter off for her 10 p.m. shift, then parked the car and went in to buy some dish soap.

When he first heard the shots, he thought it could be balloons popping. But he soon saw other customers and employees fleeing, and he ran too.

Tate reached his car and called his granddaughter.

“I could tell that she was upset,” he said. “But I could also tell that she was alive.”

'AWAKE NOT WOKE'

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