President Joe Biden released a statement Wednesday pushing for “greater action” to be taken clamping down on Americans’ Second Amendment rights after a Walmart supervisor killed several people with a handgun this week.
The shooting at the Walmart happened Tuesday night in Chesapeake, Virginia, when the supervisor reportedly walked into the store’s employee breakroom and opened fire, killing at least six people before turning the gun on himself.
“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,” Biden said in a statement. “There are now more families who know the worst kind of loss and pain imaginable.”
“This year, I signed the most significant gun reform in a generation, but that is not nearly enough,” Biden added. “We must take greater action.”
Walmart responded to the tragedy by saying the company was “shocked” by the tragedy and that they were “praying for those impacted, the community and our associates.”
The company added that it was “working closely with law enforcement, and we are focused on supporting our associates.”
It was not immediately known if all the victims were store employees, what the gunman’s motive was, or what type of handgun he used. The body of one victim was found near the front of the store. At least five victims were being treated at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
“I am devastated by the senseless act of violence that took place late last night in our City,” Chesapeake Mayor Rick West said in a statement. “My prayers are with all those affected — the victims, their family, their friends, and their coworkers. I am grateful for the quick actions taken by our first responders who rushed to the scene. Chesapeake is a tightknit community and we are all shaken by this news.”
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, who just last week mourned victims of a mass shooting on the campus of University of Virginia, issued a statement early Wednesday decrying the horrific incident.
“Our hearts break with the community of Chesapeake this morning,” Youngkin tweeted. “I remain in contact with law enforcement officials throughout this morning and have made available any resources as this investigation move forward. Heinous acts of violence have no place in our communities.”
A Walmart employee gave reporters at the scene a chilling account of the tragedy and said that the killer was a store supervisor.
“It was the manager,” the employee reportedly said. “One of the managers. He blew his brains out and everything.”
“He killed the girl in there and everything,” the employee continued. “He came in and started spraying. I’m sorry for the victims. I just left the break room, the manager came in there and started capping people up in there, started shooting.”
Greg Wilson contributed to this report.