Police: Walmart shooter bought gun just hours before killing

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CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Authorities investigating the fatal shootings of six people at a Walmart said the shooter bought the gun hours before and left a note with complaints against co-workers on his phone.

Police in Chesapeake, Virginia, issued a press release Friday saying they conducted a forensic analysis of Walmart supervisor Andre Bing’s phone and discovered what was dubbed the “Death Note.” Police say he was the shooter and was found dead at the scene of the shooting late Tuesday from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

In the note released by police, Bing said colleagues harassed him and mocked him.

Police said he used a 9 mm handgun that was legally purchased Tuesday morning, hours before the shooting. The release said he had no criminal history.

THIS IS A NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) – The Walmart supervisor who shot and killed six employees in Virginia appeared to target people and fired at some victims after they had already been hit and appeared to be dead, a witness said. present when the shooting started.

Jessica Wilczewski said workers were gathered in a store break room to begin their night shift late Tuesday when crew leader Andre Bing walked in and opened fire with a gun. While another witness has described Bing as shooting wildly, Wilczewski said she observed him targeting specific people.

“The way he acted — he went hunting,” Wilczewski told The Associated Press on Thursday. “The way he looked at people’s faces and the way he did what he did, he picked people out.”

She said she saw him shooting at people who were already on the ground.

“What I do know is that he made sure whoever he wanted dead was dead,” she said. “He went back and shot bodies that were already dead. To be sure.”

Wilczewski said she had only worked at the store for five days and did not know who Bing was dating or having problems with. She said being a new employee may have been the reason she was spared.

She said that after the shooting started, a colleague sitting next to her pulled her under the table to hide. She said at one point Bing asked her to get out from under the table. But when he saw who she was, he said to her, “Jessie, go home.” She said she slowly got up and then ran out of the store.

Police are trying to determine a motive as former colleagues struggle to make sense of the vandalism in Chesapeake, a city of about 250,000 people near the Virginia coast.

Some who worked with Bing, 31, said he had a reputation for being an aggressive, if not hostile, supervisor who once admitted to having “anger issues.” But he could also make people laugh and seemed to handle the typical stress at work that many people face.

“I don’t think he had a lot of people to fall back on in his personal life,” said Nathan Sinclair, who worked at Walmart for nearly a year before leaving earlier this month.

During chats among coworkers, “We’d be like, ‘Work is eating up my life.’ And (Bing) would be like, ‘Yeah, I don’t have a social life anyway,'” Sinclair recalled Thursday.

Sinclair said he and Bing didn’t get along. Bing was known to be “verbally hostile” to employees and was not well liked, Sinclair said. But there were times when Bing was made fun of and not necessarily treated fairly.

“There’s no telling what he might have been thinking. … You never know if someone really doesn’t have any kind of support group,” Sinclair said.

All in all, Bing seemed pretty normal to Janice Strausburg, who knew him from working at Walmart for 13 years before he left in June.

Bing could be “grumpy” but could also be “calm,” she said. He made people laugh and told Strausburg that he liked dancing. When she invited him to church, he declined, but mentioned that his mother had been a preacher.

Strausburg believed that Bing’s grumpiness was due to the stress that comes with any job. He also once told her that he “had anger issues” and complained that he would “get the managers in trouble.”

She never expected that.

“I think he had mental issues,” Strausburg said Thursday. “What else could it be?”

Tuesday night’s violence in Chesapeake was the nation’s second high-profile mass shooting in four days. Bing was dead when officers reached the store in the state’s second-largest city. Authorities said he apparently shot himself.

Police have identified the victims as Brian Pendleton, 38; Kellie Pyle, 52; Lorenzo Gamble, 43; and Randy Blevins, 70, who were all from Chesapeake; and Tyneka Johnson, 22, from nearby Portsmouth. The dead also included a 16-year-old boy, whose name was withheld because of his age, police said.

A Walmart spokesman confirmed in an email that all the victims worked for the company.

Krystal Kawabata, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s field office in Norfolk, Virginia, confirmed that the agency is assisting police in the investigation, but directed all inquiries to the Chesapeake Police Department, the lead investigating agency.

Another Walmart employee, Briana Tyler, has said that Bing appeared to be shooting at random.

“He just shot all over the room. It didn’t matter who he hit,” Tyler told the AP on Wednesday.

Six people were also injured in the shooting, which happened just after Police said they believe about 50 people were in the store at the time.

Bing was identified as a team leader who had been employed at Walmart since 2010. Police said he had a handgun and several magazines of ammunition.

Tyler said the overnight stocking crew of 15 to 20 people had just gathered in the break room to go over the morning schedule. Another squad leader had begun to speak when Bing entered the room and opened fire, Tyler and Wiczewski said.

Tyler, who started working at Walmart two months ago and had worked with Bing just one night earlier, said she never had a negative encounter with him, but others told her he was “the leader to look out for. ” She said Bing had a history of writing people up for no reason.

The attack was the second major shooting in Virginia this month. Three University of Virginia football players were fatally shot on a bus on Nov. 13 as they returned from a field trip. Two other students were injured.

The Walmart shooting also comes just days after someone opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo. — killing five and wounding 17. Tuesday night’s shooting brought memories of another attack on a Walmart in 2019, when a gunman killed 23 at a store in El Paso, Texas.

Wilczewski, who survived Tuesday’s shooting in Virginia, said she tried but couldn’t bring herself to visit a memorial in the store’s parking lot Wednesday.

“I wrote a letter and I wanted to put it out there,” she said. “I wrote to those I saw die. And I said I’m sorry I wasn’t taller. I’m sorry you couldn’t feel my touch. But you weren’t alone.”

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Associated Press writers Denise Lavoie in Chesapeake and news researchers Rhonda Shafner and Randy Herschaft in New York contributed to this report.

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