This is part of continuing coverage of a shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake. Updates here.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Wednesday morning said Virginians need to rally in support of the families of those shot and wounded in the second mass shooting in days.
Six people were killed and four were injured Tuesday night in a Walmart in Chesapeake. Authorities said the store's manager opened fire on employees who had gathered in a break room.
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The shooting comes 10 days after the fatal shooting of three University of Virginia football players as a group of students returned from a field trip.
"The shocking, stark reality that we have had two horrific acts of violence in the Commonwealth of Virginia ... brings with it a sense of anger, a sense of fear and a sense of deep, deep grief," Youngkin said, speaking shortly before a volunteer stint at the Feed More food bank in Richmond.
But with calls for action on gun violence already emerging, Youngkin said, "the facts and circumstances we don't know yet ...
"We will have, once the facts and circumstances are understood, an opportunity to take action," he said.
Youngkin ordered U.S. and state flags to be flown at half-staff to recognize the victims.
"Our hearts continue to grieve as we learn of more victims of senseless violence in Chesapeake. We mourn the many victims of fatal violence and suicide around the commonwealth and our nation," said Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears, in a statement.
"Let us grieve and pray for these families as we begin to gather for Thanksgiving, as they will have one last chair at their tables," she said.
Youngkin said police responded quickly to the Walmart shooting, and officials made resources available immediately for victims' families.
"These are just stark reminders of senseless violent crime. (It) is really a moment to reflect on the state of mind of America and Virginia," he said.
Youngkin said he's focused on "a deep issue in mental health today ... We've got real progress we must make."
Earlier, he tweeted: "Heinous acts of violence have no place in our communities."
Chesapeake police Chief Mark G. Solesky said the gunman was found dead and had apparently killed himself.
Employee Briana Tyler said that workers had gathered in the store's break room as they typically did ahead of their shifts.
“I looked up, and my manager just opened the door and he just opened fire,” she told ABC’s “Good Morning America," adding that “multiple people” dropped to the floor.
“He didn’t say a word, he didn’t say anything at all,” she said.
We are shocked at this tragic event at our Chesapeake, Virginia store. We’re praying for those impacted, the community and our associates. We’re working closely with law enforcement, and we are focused on supporting our associates.— Walmart Inc. (@WalmartInc) November 23, 2022
Solesky confirmed the shooter, who used a pistol, was a Walmart employee but did not give his name because his family has not been notified. He couldn’t confirm whether the victims were all employees.
“I am devastated by the senseless act of violence that took place late last night in our city,” Mayor Rick W. West said in a statement posted on the city's Twitter account Wednesday. “Chesapeake is a tightknit community and we are all shaken by this news.”
A 911 call about the shooting in Chesapeake came in just after 10 p.m. The store was open at the time, but Solesky didn’t know how many shoppers were inside or whether the gunman was working.
Enough is enough.— Rep. Elaine Luria (@RepElaineLuria) November 23, 2022
Praying for the victims, their families and colleagues, and the Chesapeake community tonight. https://t.co/LSmRMVwCpM
Asked whether there was a security guard present, the police chief said he didn’t know.
Joetta Jeffery told CNN that she received text messages from her mother who was inside the store when the shots were fired. Her mother, Betsy Umphlett, was not injured.
“I’m crying, I’m shaking,” Jeffery said. “I had just talked to her about buying turkeys for Thanksgiving, then this text came in.”
One man was seen wailing at a hospital after learning that his brother was dead, and others shrieked as they left a conference center set up as a family reunification center, The Virginian-Pilot reported.
Camille Buggs, a former Walmart employee, told the paper she went to the conference center seeking information about her former co-workers.
“You always say you don’t think it would happen in your town, in your neighborhood, in your store — in your favorite store and that’s the thing that has me shocked,” said Buggs, 58, of Chesapeake.
Walmart tweeted early Wednesday that it was “shocked at this tragic event.”
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner said in a tweet that he was “sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake.”
State Sen. Louise Lucas echoed Warner's sentiment, tweeting that she was “absolutely heartbroken that America’s latest mass shooting took place in a Walmart in my district."
The attack at the Walmart came three days after a person opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado, killing five people and wounding 17.
Tuesday’s shooting also brought back memories of another at a Walmart in 2019, when a gunman police say was targeting Mexicans opened fire at a store in El Paso, Texas, and killed 22 people.
The Associated Press and The Virginian-Pilot contributed to this report.
Our hearts break with the community of Chesapeake this morning. I remain in contact with law enforcement officials throughout this morning and have made available any resources as this investigation moves forward. Heinous acts of violence have no place in our communities.— Governor Glenn Youngkin (@GovernorVA) November 23, 2022