A shooter opened fire in a Walmart in Virginia, United States, late Tuesday, leaving no more than 10 people dead, police said, in the country’s second high-profile mass killing in a handful of days. The assailant is also dead.
The outburst of gun violence in the city of Chesapeake comes just before Americans celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, and follows another mass shooting at an LGBTQ club in Colorado late Saturday that left five people dead.
“We were able to find multiple fatalities and multiple injured parties,” Chesapeake Police Department officer Leo Kosinski told reporters at the scene, saying rapid response officers and tactical teams entered the store “immediately” after arriving on the scene.
“We believe it is a single shooter and that single shooter is deceased at this time,” he said, without clarifying how the suspected shooter died.
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Emergency calls were first made just after 10:00 pm Tuesday (0300 GMT Wednesday), while the store was still open.
News footage showed a major police presence at the scene with Kosinski saying several officers and investigators were carefully sweeping the store and securing the area.
The exact number of fatalities remained unclear. Kosinski told reporters that police believed no more than 10 people were killed.
Walmart, the largest retailer in the United States, issued a statement early Wednesday saying: “We are shocked at this tragic event.”
The company added that it was “praying for those impacted, the community and our associates. We’re working closely with law enforcement, and we are focused on supporting our associates.”