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Walmart mass shooting: Biden, state, local officials respond in wake of deadly Chesapeake shooting

Police confirm multiple people are dead and others are being treated in the hospital.
Credit: Sarah Hammond, 13News Now

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Details are still developing after a deadly shooting at the Walmart Super Center on Battlefield Boulevard in Chesapeake late Tuesday night.

Police confirm there are seven fatalities, and that the gunman is one of those.

MORE: Multiple fatalities after Walmart shooting in Chesapeake

In a tweet, Walmart 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."

Meanwhile, local and state officials are responding to the ongoing news about the mass shooting.


Wednesday morning, President Joe Biden issued the following statement in the aftermath of the shooting:

"Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, one of our most cherished holidays that brings us together as Americans and as families, when we hug our loved ones and count our blessings. But because of yet another horrific and senseless act of violence, there are now even more tables across the country that will have empty seats this Thanksgiving. 

There are now more families who know the worst kind of loss and pain imaginable. Jill and I grieve for those families, for the Chesapeake community, and for the Commonwealth of Virginia, which just suffered a terrible shooting at the University of Virginia this month.

 We also mourn for all those across America who have lost loved ones to these tragic shootings that we must come together as a nation to stand against.

This year, I signed the most significant gun reform in a generation, but that is not nearly enough. We must take greater action. We are grateful to the first responders who mobilized to assist victims, and I have directed federal officials to provide any support and assistance needed to the people of Chesapeake."

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shared a statement on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.

"To the heartbroken families in Chesapeake and throughout Virginia, know that we stand with you and grieve with you at this horrific time," Pelosi tweeted. "Americans know too well the trauma this inflicts on our communities, and we must never relent in our fight to stop senseless gun violence."

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas shared a statement Wednesday afternoon mourning the "tragic and senseless loss of life" in Chesapeake.

"We have seen too many acts of violence across our country," Mayorkas wrote. "Whatever the motive – whether personal grievance, an ideology of hate, or other evil motive – communities continue to be victimized and made to feel unsafe."

Mayorkas said the Department of Homeland Security is devoting resources to combat all forms of targeted violence, including information, funding, training and other resources.


Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin tweeted before 6:30 a.m. that he "remains in contact with law enforcement officials throughout this morning and have made available any resources as this investigation moves forward." He also called the shooting a heinous act of violence. 

He spoke to media later in the morning, too.

"This is a horrendous event, it's a horrendous, senseless act of violence," said Youngkin. "There will be time for us to react and better understand but today is a moment where we need to support these families that are facing the unimaginable."

Youngkin added: "We have had two horrible acts of violence in the Commonwealth in two weeks that absolutely bring with it a sense of anger, a sense of  fear, a sense of deep, deep grief."

Virginia Lt. Governor Winsome Earle-Sears wrote shortly before 6 a.m. Wednesday, saying that "Our hearts are broken for the victims in Chesapeake and the families that have lost loved ones. "

She later tweeted that she will prioritize making mental health issues a priority of her office and will work with leaders to address this crisis.

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares called the shootings "senseless."

Chesapeake Mayor Rick West wrote shortly before 6 a.m., calling Chesapeake a "tightknit community" and asking the community to keep the city in their prayers in the aftermath of this "senseless act of violence."

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said: "To the heartbroken families in Chesapeake and throughout Virginia, know that we stand with you and grieve with you at this horrific time. Americans know too well the trauma this inflicts on our communities, and we must never relent in our fight to stop senseless gun violence." 

U.S. Representative Bobby Scott tweeted "our community is suffering from yet another incident of senseless gun violence just as families are gathering for Thanksgiving."

When he spoke with 13News Now later in the day, he wanted to speak about the source of the problem.

"First of all, you have to recognize there's a problem," he said. "You can't deflect the problem to a situation of mental health. No, it's a problem of guns. Other countries have the same mental health problems we do. They have the same everything. The difference, defining factor in allowing mass shootings is guns. When we get serious and want to do something about it, we'll get serious and do something about it."

U.S. Representative Elaine Luria tweeted "Enough is enough."

U.S. Representative-elect Jen Kiggans wrote on Twitter, "Like all of you waking up today, I am simply heartbroken by this senseless tragedy in Chesapeake. My prayers are with the victims, their families, the store employees, & the entire community. I am incredibly grateful for the first responders and law enforcement who assisted."

Virginia State Senator Mamie Locke tweeted "Yet another mass shooting at a Chesapeake Walmart. Seven known dead, including the shooter. When will this madness of gun violence stop?"

Virginia State Senator Lionell Spruill Sr. tweeted that "I was just in this Sam’s club today, like hundreds of others who were preparing for the holidays.  What a heartbreaking #Thanksgiving2022 so many families will have as a result of this tragedy!  I am just beyond words right now!  Hold your loved ones close my friends !!" 

US 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. In the meantime, I urge all those in the community to listen to guidance from local law enforcement and stay away from the scene."

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine called the shooting "horrific... Both Congress and Virginia have taken steps finally to reduce gun violence. But there is so much more to do." 

Virginia Senator Louise Lucas 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."

Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander said in a social media post:

"The City of Norfolk stands in solidarity with our neighbors and friends in Chesapeake in the midst of last night’s mass shooting. Our prayers and thoughts go out to the families of the victims and everyone affected by this terrible tragedy. Incidents of gun violence are occurring at an alarming pace and we must work together proactively to address this senseless epidemic."

Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney Ramin Fatehi said in a social media post: 

"My heart breaks for the citizens of Chesapeake, for the workers at Wal-Mart, for the victims, for their families, and for the @chesapeakepolice. Chesapeake holds a special place in my heart: I prosecuted there for four years, and my father spent over 30 years of his career as a neurosurgeon there healing people. I remember when that Wal-Mart, the first in Hampton Roads, was built, and many years later, I got to know the folks who worked there through my work. I pray for them, for the victims and their families, and for peace from the scourge of #gunviolence"


Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon took to Facebook to share the following statement:

"The devastating news of last night's shooting at our Chesapeake, VA store at the hands of one of our associates has hit our Walmart family hard. My heart hurts for our associates and the Chesapeake community who have lost or injured loved ones. We are here for them today and in the challenging days ahead they will have our support.

We appreciate all of our associates, first responders, and local officials who are already on site helping offer support as we work together to navigate this tragedy."

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