CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — The Walmart supervisor who shot and killed six co-workers in Virginia appeared to focus on individuals and fired at some victims after they had been already hit and seemed to be lifeless, stated a witness who was current when the taking pictures began.
Jessica Wilczewski stated employees had been gathered in a store break room to start their in a single day shift late Tuesday when staff chief Andre Bing entered and opened hearth with a handgun. Whereas one other witness has described Bing as taking pictures wildly, Wilczewski stated she noticed him goal sure individuals.
“The best way he was appearing — he was going looking,” Wilczewski advised The Related Press on Thursday. “The best way he was individuals’s faces and the best way he did what he did, he was selecting individuals out.”
She stated she noticed him shoot at individuals who had been already on the bottom.
“What I do know is that he made certain who he needed lifeless, was lifeless,” she stated. “He went again and shot lifeless our bodies that had been already lifeless. To verify.”
Wilczewski stated she had solely labored on the retailer for 5 days and didn’t know with whom Bing bought alongside or had issues. She stated being a brand new worker might have been the rationale she was spared.
She stated that after the taking pictures began, a co-worker sitting subsequent to her pulled her underneath the desk to cover. She stated that at one level, Bing advised her to get out from underneath the desk. However when he noticed who she was, he advised her, “Jessie, go dwelling.” She stated she slowly bought up after which ran out of the shop.
Police try to find out a motive, whereas former coworkers are struggling to make sense of the rampage in Chesapeake, a metropolis of about 250,000 individuals close to Virginia’s coast.
Some who labored with Bing, 31, stated he had a repute for being an aggressive, if not hostile, supervisor, who as soon as admitted to having “anger points.” However he additionally might make individuals chortle and appeared to be coping with the everyday stresses at work that many individuals endure.
“I don’t suppose he had many individuals to fall again on in his private life,” stated Nathan Sinclair, who labored on the Walmart for almost a 12 months earlier than leaving earlier this month.
Throughout chats amongst coworkers, “We might be like ‘work is consuming my life.’ And (Bing) can be like, ‘Yeah, I don’t have a social life anyway,’” Sinclair recalled Thursday.
Sinclair stated he and Bing didn’t get alongside. Bing was recognized for being “verbally hostile” to workers and wasn’t notably well-liked, Sinclair stated. However there have been occasions when Bing was made enjoyable of and never essentially handled pretty.
“There’s no telling what he might have been considering. … You by no means know if any person actually doesn’t have any sort of assist group,” Sinclair stated.
On steadiness, Bing appeared fairly regular to Janice Strausburg, who knew him from working at Walmart for 13 years earlier than leaving in June.
Bing might be “grumpy” however may be “placid,” she stated. He made individuals chortle and advised Strausburg he preferred dance. When she invited him to church, he declined however talked about that his mom had been a preacher.
Strausburg thought Bing’s grumpiness was because of the stresses that include any job. He additionally as soon as advised her that he had “had anger points” and complained he was going to “get the managers in bother.”
“I believe he had psychological points,” Strausburg stated Thursday. “What else might it’s?”
Tuesday evening’s violence in Chesapeake was the nation’s second high-profile mass taking pictures in 4 days. Bing was lifeless when officers reached the shop within the state’s second-largest metropolis. Authorities stated he apparently shot himself.
Police have identified the victims as Brian Pendleton, 38; Kellie Pyle, 52; Lorenzo Gamble, 43; and Randy Blevins, 70, who had been all from Chesapeake; and Tyneka Johnson, 22, of close by Portsmouth. The lifeless additionally included a 16-year-old boy whose identify was withheld due to his age, police stated.
A Walmart spokesperson confirmed in an electronic mail that the entire victims labored for the corporate.
Krystal Kawabata, a spokesperson for the FBI’s discipline workplace in Norfolk, Virginia, confirmed the company is helping police with the investigation however directed all inquiries to the Chesapeake Police Division, the lead investigative company.
One other Walmart worker, Briana Tyler, has stated Bing appeared to fireplace at random.
“He was simply taking pictures all all through the room. It didn’t matter who he hit,” Tyler advised the AP Wednesday.
Six individuals additionally had been wounded within the taking pictures, which occurred simply after 10 p.m. as buyers had been stocking up forward of the Thanksgiving vacation. Police stated they imagine about 50 individuals had been within the retailer on the time.
Bing was recognized as an in a single day staff chief who had been a Walmart worker since 2010. Police stated he had one handgun and several other magazines of ammunition.
Tyler stated the in a single day stocking staff of 15 to twenty individuals had simply gathered within the break room to go over the morning plan. One other staff chief had begun talking when Bing entered the room and opened hearth, Tyler and Wiczewski stated.
Tyler, who began working at Walmart two months in the past and had labored with Bing only a evening earlier, stated she by no means had a unfavorable encounter with him, however others advised her he was “the supervisor to look out for.” She stated Bing had a historical past of writing up individuals for no cause.
The assault was the second main taking pictures in Virginia this month. Three College of Virginia soccer gamers had been fatally shot on a bus Nov. 13 as they returned from a discipline journey. Two different college students had been wounded.
The Walmart taking pictures additionally comes days after an individual opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado — killing 5 and wounding 17. Tuesday evening’s taking pictures introduced again reminiscences of one other assault at a Walmart in 2019, when a gunman killed 23 at a retailer in El Paso, Texas.
Wilczewski, who survived Tuesday’s taking pictures in Virginia, stated she tried however couldn’t carry herself to go to a memorial within the retailer’s parking zone Wednesday.
“I wrote a letter and I needed to place it on the market,” she stated. “I wrote to those I watched die. And I stated that I’m sorry I wasn’t louder. I’m sorry you couldn’t really feel my contact. However you weren’t alone.”
Related Press writers Denise Lavoie in Chesapeake and information researchers Rhonda Shafner and Randy Herschaft in New York contributed to this report.