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Virginia Walmart shooting: Victims remain in critical condition in hospital for days after a mass shooting during Thanksgiving week killed 6 people

Filming on Tuesday night – two days before Thanksgiving – began minutes after 10 p.m. in the employees’ break room, where some workers were preparing to start their night shift.

In addition to the six non-surviving employees, others continue to receive medical treatment. Two victims at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital were in critical condition on Thanksgiving Day, hospital spokesman Mike Kafka told CNN, and another victim was released Wednesday.

“Today we are only focusing on those injured by Tuesday’s tragic event, but the police investigation continues,” officials said, adding that additional information will be provided on Friday.

Those killed are Randy Blevins, 70, Lorenzo Gamble, 43, Tyneka Johnson, 22, Brian Pendleton, 38, Kellie Pyle, 52, and a 16-year-old boy, who is not named because he is a minor, according to the authorities.

As police work to determine a motive for one of at least three mass shootings in Virginia this month, Chesapeake officials have announced a vigil for the victims scheduled for Monday night in City Park.

“Chesapeake is a tight-knit community and we are all devastated,” Mayor Rick West said in a message posted online earlier this week. “Together we will support each other during this time.”

Another mass shooting highlights America's persistent gun control divide
The tragedy, which happened as many in the community prepared to spend the holiday with family and friends, has sparked an outpouring of grief and trauma at the loss of loved ones in yet another mass shooting across the United States.
Another community in Virginia has also endured the pain of lives lost to gun violence. About 170 miles west of Chesapeake, a 22-year-old student at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville was arrested and charged after opening fire on fellow students on Nov. 13, killing three of them on a bus returning from a field trip to campus returned to Washington, DC.
Grief also permeated a Colorado community last weekend when a 22-year-old suspect shot dead five people and injured 19 others at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, authorities said.
These shootings, among many others, have put the U.S. on the ominous trail of making 2022 the second-highest year for mass shootings on record, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit organization that began tracking the incidents in 2014.

Survivors describe the shooting

This week’s Chesapeake shooting erupted suddenly, and witnesses said they were shocked and in disbelief when they saw the gunman point a firearm at them.

Walmart employee Kevin Harper said the shooter entered the break room and immediately began shooting.

“He walked in there and just started spraying,” Harper said in a video on social media.

The shooter was identified as Andre Bing, who worked as a “team leader” overnight. The 31-year-old has worked for Walmart since 2010, the company said. Authorities said he possessed a semi-automatic pistol and multiple magazines of ammunition.
A 16-year-old boy is among the 6 victims shot dead at a Walmart in Virginia, authorities say

Two victims were killed and the gunman was found in the break room, another victim was found outside the store and three others died in the hospital, Chesapeake city officials said.

Jessie Wilczewski, who was recently hired, told CNN that she was in a regularly scheduled meeting when filming began.

At first, she “didn’t register as real,” she said, until the sound of the gunshots echoed through her chest.

Wilczewski hid under a table as the shooter walked down a nearby hallway. She could see some of her colleagues lying on the floor or in chairs – all still and some probably dead, she said. She stayed because she didn’t want to leave her alone.

“I could have run out of that door… and I stayed. I stayed so they wouldn’t be alone in their final moments,” Wilczewski said in a message to the families of two victims.

When the shooter returned to the break room, Wilczewski said he told her to come out from under the table and go home.

“I had to touch the door that was covered (in blood),” she said. “I just remember packing my bag and thinking, ‘If he wants to shoot me in the back – well, he’s going to have to try really hard because I’m running’, and I booked it. … and I didn’t stop until I got to my car and then had a breakdown.”

The FBI is investigating Thursday's deadly mass shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Briana Tyler, also a newly hired employee, said she saw bullets inches from her face.

“All of a sudden you just hear pa pa pa pa pa pa pa,” Tyler said. “There were people who just fell to the ground,” she said. “Everyone was screaming, gasping for air and yes, after that he just walked away and just kept shooting around the store and just kept shooting.

Holiday of emptiness for the families of victims of gun violence

Beyond this week’s Chesapeake shooting, gun violence has turned many ordinary places across the country into crime scenes — from schools and supermarkets to hospitals and shopping malls.
Brett Cross, whose nephew Uziyah Garcia was killed in a Texas school shooting earlier this year, described a deep sense of loss without the 10-year-old boy this holiday season.

A gunman opened fire at Robb Primary School in Uvalde in May, killing 19 fourth graders and their two teachers before authorities shot dead him.

“6 months since our world was destroyed and I’m supposed to ‘celebrate the holidays,'” Cross wrote in a Thanksgiving Day social media post. “How do you celebrate when you’re devastated. How do you say thank you when you have nothing left to give. How do you fake it and smile when you wake up crying.”

The nation's hopes for a Thanksgiving reprieve are dashed by another tragic spate of gun violence
In 2018, a former student killed 14 students and three staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Fred Guttenberg, the father of 14-year-old Jaime Guttenberg, who was killed in the shooting, said more needs to be done to end gun violence.
“Today we celebrate Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, because of gun violence, many families will do so with an empty seat at the table,” Guttenberg wrote in a social media post on Thanksgiving.
Nicole Hockley lost her 6-year-old son, Dylan, in the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults.

“My life had plunged into sadness and turmoil. I felt like I was at the bottom of a gigantic hole that I could never climb out of. I didn’t know how to help myself, let alone those I loved,” Hockley wrote in a Thanksgiving message online.

“But over the weeks and months that followed, and with the support of those around me, I found a new sense of purpose. To prevent other children and families from suffering the same fate.”

CNN’s Josh Campbell, Michelle Watson, and Andi Babineau contributed to this report.

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