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Walmart mass shooting: First victim killed in Chesapeake store is 21-year-old employee

The first victim killed in a mass shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, has been identified as a 21-year-old store worker after her family launched a desperate appeal to find her in the aftermath of the horrific attack.

Tyneka Johnson was killed when a co-worker opened fire in a supermarket on Sam’s Circle just after 10pm on Tuesday night.

In a heartbreaking Facebook post on Tuesday night, Johnson’s family pleaded for help finding out what happened to her.

“We need help locating my little cousin. He is a Walmart employee,” wrote a distraught family member.

“Everyone needs to know if she’s safe. This post is about helping and locating Tyneka Johnson. No questions. Just help.”

A few hours later, family members posted a photo of the 21-year-old with a broken heart emoji.

A relative confirmed her death to 7NewsDC on Wednesday, describing her as “the kindest person who never bothered anyone.”

A makeshift memorial bearing her name was left in the Walmart parking lot where she was killed.

Johnson, who recently celebrated her 21st birthday, is one of six victims killed Tuesday night when another store employee opened fire in a Walmart break room.

The thug, whom Walmart listed in a statement as 31-year-old Andre Bing Independentcarried out a pistol attack before turning the gun on himself, police said.

The four surviving victims are still in hospital and their condition is currently unknown.

At a press conference Wednesday morning, Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky said law enforcement received the first 911 call about the shooting Tuesday at 10:12 p.m.

The first officers arrived on the scene two minutes later at 10:14 p.m. and entered the store two minutes later at about 10:16 p.m.

Tyneka Johnson has been identified as the victim of Tuesday’s shooting

(Facebook)

Officers found the suspect’s body due to self-inflicted gunshot wounds and deemed the scene safe, Chief Solesky said.

Six victims were killed in the attack and several others were hospitalized.

After searching the suspect’s home, Chief Solesky said there was “no ongoing threat to the public.”

Police said the assailant used a handgun during the attack, but did not disclose any further details about the murder weapon – including the exact make and model and whether it was legally purchased and registered to the suspect.

Officials have not released the identity of the gunman or the victims, and it is currently unclear whether the gunman “targeted” his victims or carried out a random shootout with an unknown motive for the attack.

One Walmart employee who survived the attack claimed the gunman was having “problems” with some of his colleagues and was “laughing” as he opened fire on his victims.

A witness, whose name has not been released, told local network 10 On Your Side that the shooting took place while 14 employees were sitting in a conference room to take turns.

She said a group of employees were waiting to learn their shift duties when the suspect started shooting.

The employee, who had only five days on the job at the store, said she believed the shooting was pre-planned because the perpetrator was having “issues” with other managers in the branch.

She claimed that he was aiming at other managers involved in the shooting and that he was heard laughing at one point.

“It didn’t even feel real until you felt the gun go off,” she said.

“I will never go to this store again. I can’t, I can’t even leave the house.”

Tyneka Johnson’s family has confirmed she was killed in a mass shooting

(Facebook)

Kevin Harper, a man who identified himself as a store employee, posted a live feed on Facebook from outside the store on Tuesday night where he claimed he had just left the break room when “one of the managers” walked in “and had just started spraying.”

In the video, he claimed he nearly missed the shooter because he had just left the break room when the shooting broke out.

“I just got out of the break room, the manager went in there, he started shooting people there, he started shooting, bro. The manager came in, started throwing, man. As soon as I left the break room, he walked in there, man… it’s fucking wild,” he says in the video.

Mr Harper claims it was “one of the managers” and that other “associates” were killed in the attack.

“But it’s crazy, it was a manager, one of the managers,” he says.

“They blew people’s brains out and everything… He came in and just started spraying and fucking,” he adds.

“Unfortunately, we lost some of our associates, I don’t know how many.”

Law enforcement officers at the scene of the Chesapeake shooting

(AP)

Multiple law enforcement agencies joined the investigation, including the Virginia Beach Police, the Chesapeake Police Department, and the Washington, D.C., Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

It comes a few days before Thanksgiving, when shoppers are likely stocking up on goods ahead of the holiday season.

Walmart released a statement Wednesday saying it was “shocked” by the event at one of their stores.

“We are praying for those affected, the community and our associates,” the company said.

“We work closely with law enforcement and are focused on supporting our associates.”

President Joe Biden and several Virginia lawmakers have issued statements denouncing the latest firearms incident that has torn apart America’s community.

The massacre came just days after a gunman opened fire at an LGBT+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Saturday night.

Five people were killed and 17 injured when suspected gunman Anderson Lee Aldrich opened fire at Club Q in Colorado Springs Saturday night.

The massacre came to an end when the club’s heroic regulars knocked the shooter to the ground and detained him until the police arrived.

The five victims killed in this attack were Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh and Raymond Vance.

This followed another mass shooting in Virginia on November 13, when three University of Virginia football stars were shot and killed as they returned to campus from a field trip.

College friend and former soccer player Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., 22, allegedly opened fire on the bus.

Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry, and Devin Chandler were killed in the attack, and two others were injured but survived.

Mr. Jones was arrested the next day and charged with murder and other charges.

In 2019, a Walmart store was also the site of another mass shooting.

A total of 23 people were killed in a shooting at a store in El Paso, Texas.

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