‘Thank goodness I showed up late’: Walmart employee reveals how he narrowly escaped shooter who killed six during rampage
- Employees gathered and spoke to local outlets Tuesday night following the mass shooting at a Chesapeake, Virginia Walmart
- Many employees had just clocked in for the nightshift, when a store manager opened fire in the break room killing six colleagues
- One employee said ‘Thank goodness I showed up late’ for work, meaning his life was spared by the shooter
- By the time police arrived on the scene, the gunman was already dead, having turned his weapon on himself
An employee at a Virginia Walmart where six people were killed Tuesday said he narrowly missed the rampage because he was running late for work.
‘Thank goodness I showed up late,’ one employee of the Chesapeake Walmart where a manager opened fire on his staff, told a local reporter. Employees of the store were gathered outside after the shooting in order to take attendance.
Seven people are dead following the mass shooting that witnesses say was a targeted attack on Walmart employees carried out in a breakroom of the store.
The suspect, who killed six people before turning the gun on himself, has not yet been named, but was confirmed to be an employee by police.
He opened fire at 10.10pm on Tuesday night while shoppers were carrying out last minute Thanksgiving errands shortly before the store was set to close.
By 10.16pm, when the first cops entered the store, the gunman was dead. Police confirmed on Wednesday that he died from a self-inflicted wound.
Law enforcement remains on the scene following a mass shooting at a Virginia Walmart on Tuesday night where seven people died, including the gunman
The busy store was busy pre-Thanksgiving, when a store manager opened fire in the breakroom and killed six of his colleagues
Employees gathered at the nearby Sam’s Club, where roll was being taken in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy.
One employee tole Brett Hall of WAVY News that he missed the shooting only because they were late for the nightshift.
Another employee, who said she was inside the superstore at the time of the shooting, told the station that a teenage employee was among those who got shot.
On Wednesday morning, Walmart shared a statement: ‘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.’
Other associates, still in disbelief, said they were shocked at what had happened because the store felt like a home.
One former employee said he’d ‘been on the phone with a few other friends who were former employees, and customers, we’re all just in disbelief.’
One victim’s sister said he had worked at the Chesapeake Walmart for some 20 years and called his family Tuesday night around 10.18pm to tell them he’d been shot.
She said it was comforting to know he was able to speak after being injured and added that he had only clocked in about 10 minutes before the rampage began.
One survivor of the attack told the local outlet that she’d heard the gunman laughing at some point during the attack, and that he deliberately targeted a room full of staff who had gathered to discuss the shift they’d just completed.
One Walmart employee, standing outside the store after the horrific attack, revealed on social media: ‘It was the manager. One of the managers.’
Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky delivered remarks during a press conference Wednesday morning at the Chesapeake Police Department about the mass shooting at the Walmart Supercenter
‘We are shocked at this tragic event at our Chesapeake, Virginia store. We’re praying for those impacted, the community and our associates,’ said Walmart in a statement
Chesapeake Police Public Information Officer Leo Kosinski delivered an update to the press following a mass shooting Tuesday night
Referring to the gunman, the shaken staff member added: ‘He blew his brains out and everything.
‘He killed the girl in there and everything. He came in and started spraying. I’m sorry for the victims.
‘I just left the break room, the manager come in there and started capping people up in there, started shooting. Sadly we lost a few of our associates.’
Virginia Beach police responded to assist the Chesapeake Police Department. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in Washington tweeted in the early hours of Wednesday morning that they were also on the way to help with the investigation.
Virginia state Senator Louise Lucas, who represents that portion of Chesapeake, said: ‘I am absolutely heartbroken that America’s latest mass shooting took place in a Walmart in my district in Chesapeake, Virginia tonight.
‘I will not rest until we find the solutions to end this gun violence epidemic in our country that has taken so many lives.’
One survivor of the attack told the local outlet that she’d heard the gunman laughing at some point during the attack, and that he deliberately targeted a room full of staff who had gathered to discuss the shift they’d just completed
Comedian Jay Pharoah, a Saturday Night Live alum, wrote that he grew up just down the block from the Chesapeake Walmart.
‘This happened right down the street from my neighborhood in Chesapeake at the Walmart that my family and I have gone to for years.
‘My heart is broken for those who aren’t getting a chance to come home and my condolences to the families who have to suffer through their losses. If I’m thankful for anything this holiday it’s my families life and mine.
‘Thank God we didn’t get caught in it, my mother was just there today, I pray everybody I know is okay. I pray for those who I don’t know. Pray for Chesapeake, keep Va in your hearts this holiday season,’ he wrote.
Member of Congress Representative Elaine Luria posted to Twitter: ‘Enough is enough’.
Virginia senator Mark Warner said: ‘Sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake. I’ll be monitoring developments closely.’
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin tweeted following the shooting, ‘Our hearts breaks 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 move forward.
‘Heinous acts of violence have no place in our communities.’