The Walmart manager who killed six people and injured several more in a mass shooting at a Virginia store on Tuesday night has been identified as Andre Bing, Walmart confirmed in a statement on Wednesday.
The company said Bing, 31, was a “team lead” who worked as the Chesapeake store’s night manager and had been employed by Walmart since 2010.
Police declined to disclose a potential motive to The Daily Beast. However, witnesses described Bing talking normally to colleagues in a break room at about 10 p.m. Tuesday before he suddenly turned around and opened fire while laughing.
“While our investigation continues we can tell you the following: six victims have died, four victims are in area hospitals … The suspect is dead due to what we believe is a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky said at a Wednesday morning press conference.
Six of the five victims were identified Wednesday afternoon as Brian Pendleton, 38; Kellie Pyle, 52; Lorenzo Gamble, 43; Randy Blevins, 70; and Tyneka Johnson, 38. City officials declined to release the name of a slain 16-year-old boy because he was a minor. All victims lived in Chesapeake, police said, except for Johnson, who lived in the neighboring city of Portsmouth.
Shortly after the shooting, former colleagues identified the alleged killer in social media posts as “Andre,” with one ex-colleague writing that he knew the 31-year-old “was gone snap one day.”
Another former colleague, Shaundrayia Reese, 27, posted old videos on Facebook showing her and Bing from her time at the store. She wrote that she “never thought” he’d do “some shit like this.”
Reese, who worked on the store’s overnight crew between 2015 and 2018, told The New York Times that everyone called Bing “weird,” and that “was all anyone could say about Andre.”
Nathan Sinclair, 21, told the Times that he used to manage the shift just before Bing came to work. He described Bing as “kind of aggressive” and “hostile,” adding that they’d argue on occasion over work matters.
Another former colleague, Josh Johnson, 30, said Bing mostly kept to himself and didn’t have a life outside of his work at Walmart.
“He was the type of guy who said, ‘I go to work and go home, I don’t have [a] social life,’” he told the Times.
City officials said the first 911 call came around 10:14 p.m. and officers arrived two minutes later. By the time they got there, the gunfire was over and Bing was already dead.
Authorities said it took them about 45 minutes to go through the store and find multiple dead and injured victims, two of whom were in the break room along with Bing. One victim was found dead at the store’s entrance, while three others died later at local hospitals.
Officials said Bing had no body armor, but carried “several” magazines of ammunition and used a pistol. It’s believed about 50 people were in the store at the time.
Briana Tyler told the Associated Press that the store’s overnight stocking team had just gathered in the break room to go over the morning plan when shots rang out. She said her manager said, “All right guys, we have a light night ahead of us,” before he turned around and began firing at the group of 15 to 20 workers.
She told Good Morning America that she saw multiple people drop to the floor as shots rang out.
“I looked up and my manager just opened the door and he just opened fire,” Tyler said. “He wasn’t aiming at anybody specifically. He just literally started shooting throughout the entire break room and I watched multiple people just drop down to the floor, where they were trying to duck for cover or they were hit.”
Tyler said she locked eyes with the shooter but, when he fired at her, he missed. “He didn’t say a word, he didn’t say anything at all,” she said.
Local TV station 10 On Your Side also spoke with an employee who said she suspected the shooting was planned, and that she’d heard the gunman laughing.
Kevin Harper, who identified himself as a store worker at the Walmart, posted a Facebook Live on Tuesday night after the shooting. He was seen standing outside the store as police cars swarmed around it.
“It’s wild, though, it was the manager, one of the managers,” he said as sirens could be heard blaring behind him.
The video follows Harper touching base with other colleagues from the store as they discuss what happened and who made it out alive.
“Bro blew his brains out and everything...,” he was heard saying. “He came in and just started spraying and shit.”
“I’d just left out of the break room, manager come up in there, started capping people up in there, started shooting, bro. The manager came in, started dumping, man. As soon as I left out the break room, he went in there, man... that shit wild.”
“Sadly, though, we lost a few of our associates, I don’t know how many.”
Harper said he heard the shooter getting closer to him so he “booked it and got up out of there.”
The surviving colleagues appeared to be in shock as they discussed the possible identity of the shooter. “Manager guy? Why he shoot everybody?”
“I seen brains,” one woman could be heard crying in the background of the video as he asked if she was all right.
“What the hell was going through his mind?”
In another social media post, Joetta Jeffrey, whose mother was at the Walmart when the shooting occurred, said her mom told her “they took a man out in a shopping cart because there wasn’t enough stretchers.”
“Praying for the victims' families. I don’t know what I would of done if I would of got a call or text that was completely different,” she said after sharing the chilling texts her mom sent as the shooting took place.
Several people who claimed to be former employees did not respond to interview requests from The Daily Beast on Facebook or over the phone. It’s unclear if all the victims of Tuesday’s massacre were employees.
City officials said that detectives spent Wednesday searching Bing’s Chesapeake home, probing for clues as to what led him to massacre his colleagues.
Worried families converged on the Chesapeake Conference Center late into the night, hoping to learn that their loved ones were safe at the family reunification center set up by authorities. The Virginian-Pilot reported that mournful cries could be heard from inside the center, and one man was seen reacting to devastating news at a local emergency room.
“They killed my brother,” the man was quoted yelling, before running away in anguish.
The store had reportedly been teeming with shoppers shortly before the gunfire erupted. “People were being very friendly, talking about Thanksgiving—what they had to do, what they had to get,” one shopper told local station 13News Now. She said she’d seen long checkout lines and a full parking lot shortly before 9 p.m.
The shooting marked the 31st mass shooting in November alone, according to Gunviolence.org.
In a statement to ABC, 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.”
“I am devastated by the senseless act of violence that took place late last night in our city,” Mayor Rick W. West said in a statement on Twitter. “Chesapeake is a tightknit community and we are all shaken by this news.”
Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), who represents the district, said, “Tragically, our community is suffering from yet another incident of senseless gun violence just as families are gathering for Thanksgiving. My thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones.”
The incident comes days after an attack on queer venue Club Q in Colorado Springs, where a rifle-toting gunman opened fire during a drag show, killing five and injuring more than a dozen before heroic patrons tackled him.