The gunman who allegedly killed six victims in a mass shooting inside a Walmart store in Chesapeake, Virginia, before turning the gun on himself has now been identified as a night manager at the store, The Independent can reveal.
Six victims – including a 21-year-old coworker – were killed in Tuesday’s attack before Bing, an overnight team lead who had worked at the company for the past 12 years, allegedly shot and killed himself with his own gun, police said. His body was found in the store break room along with two of his alleged victims.
The motive for the attack remains unclear but surviving employees have revealed that the 31-year-old had “issues” with other staff members in the run-up to the mass shooting.
Walmart confirmed the identity of the gunman in a statement to The Independent on Wednesday.
“While details of the tragic incident in our Chesapeake, Virginia store are still emerging, authorities have confirmed multiple fatalities. We are focused on doing everything we can to support our associates and their families at this time. The alleged shooter has been identified as Andre Bing,” a company spokesperson said.
“We can confirm that he was a Walmart associate. Andre’s position with the company was overnight team lead and he’s been employed with us since 2010. We are thankful for the local first responders and will continue to work with local law enforcement as they continue their investigation.”
One witness who had worked at the store for just five days before Tuesday’s massacre claimed that it had already become clear within that short timeframe that Bing had “issues” with some of the other managers at the branch.
She told local network 10 On Your Side that she believed the shooting was planned and that the suspect was laughing at one point during the attack.
The shooting unfolded when 14 employees were sat in a meeting room waiting to go on shift for the night, she said, adding that he appeared to target other managers in the shooting.
Another employee Jessie Wilczewski told local station WAVY how the gunman appeared to spare her in the massacre.
She described how she hid under the table as gunfire erupted.
Bing spotted her and pointed his gun at her, she said. But, instead of opening fire, he told her to go home.
Another Walmart employee Briana Tyler told Good Morning America that the gunman was known as the one to “look out for”.
“There was always something going on with him just having an issue with someone but I never expected it would get to this level. He was the manager that everybody had something to say about,” she said.
Ms Tyler, who escaped the shooting unscathed, said that Bing didn’t say a word when he walked into the break room and started shooting.
“I looked up and my manager just opened the door and he just opened fire,” she said.
She added that she didn’t believe the suspect was aiming for particular individuals but just aimed at the first person “in his eyesight”.
“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,” she said.
“He didn’t say a word, he didn’t say anything at all... He just came around the corner and started shooting.
“The first person that was in his eyesight, he shot him down and the next thing you know, he just started rigging throughout the entire break room, but he did not say a word.”
In a press conference on Wednesday morning, police confirmed that the gunman was a disgruntled male store employee who was not thought to have been on the radar of police prior to Tuesday’s attack.
Hours later police confirmed Bing’s name in a press release with his photo.
A search of online records shows that he had no previous criminal record. It is not clear if Bing legally purchased the pistol used in the attack.
A search warrant was executed on the suspect’s home in the aftermath of the shooting, with photos revealing the front door broken.
Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky said that the home was “cleared” in the search, confirming that there was “no ongoing risk to the public”.
Police were called to reports of a shooting at the store at 10.12pm on Tuesday night.
The first officers arrived on the scene two minutes later at 10.14pm and entered the store two minutes after that at around 10.16pm.
Officers found the suspect dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and declared the scene safe, said Chief Solesky.
Several victims were killed and wounded in the attack.
Two victims including the shooter were found dead in the break room and one victim was found dead toward the front of the store. Three other victims were rushed to hospital where they died from their injuries.
At least six other surviving victims were taken to local hospitals for further treatment. One of those victims is currently in critical condition, the City of Chesapeake said on Wednesday afternoon.
One of the victims killed in the attack was identified by her family as 21-year-old Tyneka Johnson, a worker at the store.
In a heartbreaking Facebook post late on Wednesday night, Johnson’s family begged for help in finding out what had happened to her after hearing news of the shooting.
“We need help locating my lil cousin. She is an employee at Walmart,” wrote a desperate family member.
“Everyone need to know if she is safe. This post is about helping and locating Tyneka Johnson. No questions. Just help.”
Hours later, the family members posted a photo of the 21-year-old with heartbreak emojis.
One relative confirmed her death to 7NewsDC on Wednesday, describing her as “the nicest person who never bothered anyone”.
A makeshift memorial featuring her name was left in the parking lot of the Walmart where she was killed.
Four surviving victims are still in hospital with their conditions unknown at this time.
President Joe Biden condemned the attack, coming two days before the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Because of yet another horrific and senseless act of violence, there are now even more tables across the country that will have empty seats this Thanksgiving,” he said.
The mass shooting marks just the latest to rock America, after a gunman opened fire inside an LGBT+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Saturday night.
Five people were killed and 17 others injured when suspected gunman Anderson Lee Aldrich opened fire inside Club Q in Colorado Springs on Saturday night.
The massacre came to an end when heroic clubgoers tackled the shooter to the ground and detained him until police arrived on the scene.
The five victims killed in that attack were identified as Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh and Raymond Vance.
This came after another mass shooting in the state of Virginia on 13 November, when three star football players from the University of Virginia were shot and killed as they returned to campus from a field trip.
Fellow student and former football 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, while two other were injured but survived.
Mr Jones was arrested the following day and charged with murder and other charges.
Back in 2019, a Walmart store was also the site of another horror mass shooting. A total of 23 people were killed in a mass shooting in a store in the city of El Paso, Texas.