The shooter was found dead at the store, Leo Kosinski, a spokesman with the Chesapeake Police Department, said in a brief news conference.
The city of Chesapeake also confirmed that the shooter is dead, citing police, in a Twitter post: “Chesapeake Police confirm an active shooter incident with fatalities at the Walmart on Sam’s Circle. The shooter is deceased.” In the post, the city stated, “Our first responders are well-trained and prepared to respond; please give them space to do so.”
Kosinski did not state the number of people who had been shot and killed, but he said he believed it was “less than 10,” according to reports. The shooting inside the Walmart was reported to police shortly after 10 p.m. Kosinski said. He added that “multiple fatalities and multiple injured” individuals were found inside the store when officers entered.
He also stated that investigators did not know if the shooter was shot by police or whether he had died by suicide. He said that at the time, it is not clear if any of the victims or shooter were employees, according to NBC.
A spokesperson for Walmart, told Rolling Stone in 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.”
“I’m crying, I’m shaking,” Joetta Jeffery told CNN. Her mother, Betsy Umphlett, sent her texts from inside the store during the shooting. “I had just talked to her about buying turkeys for Thanksgiving, then this text came in,” said Jeffery, who was reunited with her mother.
A family reunification site has been provided at the Chesapeake Conference Center. It is intended only for immediate family members or the emergency contact of individuals who may have been in the building.
This is a developing story and will be updated.