Virginia’s Chesapeake police say several people have been killed, including the unidentified shooter.
Several people have been killed and others injured in a shooting at a Walmart store in Chesapeake, Virginia, according to police.
At about 10:12pm local time on Tuesday (03:12 GMT on Wednesday), Chesapeake police responded to reports of a shooting in Walmart that resulted in “less than 10” people dead, including the suspected gunman.
Public information officer Leo Kosinski declined to give the exact number. It was not clear if the shooter, who has not been identified, died because of self-inflicted injuries. But several media outlets have identified the shooter as a manager at the store.
Kosinski said no shots were fired at police “to his knowledge”.
He added that several officers and investigators were carefully sweeping the store and securing the area.
“We’re only a few hours into the response, so we don’t have all the answers yet,” the City of Chesapeake said. “We do know there are multiple fatalities plus injuries and the shooter is confirmed dead.”
The largest retailed in the country Walmart wrote early on Wednesday that it was “shocked at this tragic event”.
“We’re praying for those impacted, the community and our associates”.
A spokesperson for Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, which has the area’s top trauma centre, told local television station WAVY that five patients were being treated there.
The police department did not immediately respond to a Reuters news agency request for comment.
Virginia state Senator Louise Lucas said she was “absolutely heartbroken” about shooting in her district, adding that she “will not rest until we find the solutions to end this gun violence epidemic in our country”.
There have been over 600 mass shootings in the United States this year alone and the issue of gun control which would have made it difficult for anybody with a mental health issue or criminal record to have access to guns is a touchy one in American politics.
The Gun Lobby led by the NRA has always had its way by making it a constitutional issue making it difficult to pass through congress.