CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Lawmakers throughout the Commonwealth, local officials, and President Joe Biden are reacting to a deadly shooting after an employee opened fire at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, and killing six people before he died by suicide.
A family reunification site has been set up at the Chesapeake Conference Center. The site is only meant for immediate family members or the emergency contact of those who may have been in the building.
Below are a few statements from lawmakers:
President Joe Biden
"Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, one of our most cherished holidays that brings us together as Americans and as families, when we hug our loved ones and count our blessings. But 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. There are now more families who know the worst kind of loss and pain imaginable.
Jill and I grieve for those families, for the Chesapeake community, and for the Commonwealth of Virginia, which just suffered a terrible shooting at the University of Virginia this month. We also mourn for all those across America who have lost loved ones to these tragic shootings that we must come together as a nation to stand against.
This year, I signed the most significant gun reform in a generation, but that is not nearly enough. We must take greater action."
We are grateful to the first responders who mobilized to assist victims, and I have directed federal officials to provide any support and assistance needed to the people of Chesapeake.
"We are shocked at this tragic event 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."
Governor Glenn Youngkin
"Our hearts break with the community of Chesapeake this morning. I remain in contact with law enforcement officials throughout this morning and have made available any resources as this investigation moves forward. Heinous acts of violence have no place in our community. I have ordered that the flags of the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Virginia are to be flown at half-staff immediately in respect and memory of the victims of the Chesapeake shooting, their families, and the entire Chesapeake community."
Governor Larry Hogan
"This is an awful tragedy. I ask all Marylanders to pray for the families of the victims. Our office, state police, and emergency management officials have reached out to Virginia to offer assistance."
Senator Chris Van Hollen
"Heartbroken for the Chesapeake community, the lives lost and all those impacted by the tragic shooting last night. This madness won't end unless we come together as Americans to make it end. For the sake of all our communities, ending gun violence must be a national priority."
U.S. Senator Mark Warner
"Sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake. I’ll be monitoring developments closely. In the meantime, I urge all those in the community to listen to guidance from local law enforcement and stay away from the scene."
U.S. Representative Elaine Luria
"Enough is enough. Praying for the victims, their families and colleagues, and the Chesapeake community tonight."
The City of Chesapeake, on behalf of Chesapeake Mayor Rick West
"I am devasted by the senseless act of violence that took place late last night in our City. My prayers are with all those affected - the victims, their family, their friends, and their coworkers."
Virginia Senator Lionell Spruill, Sr.
"I was just in this Sam’s club today, like hundreds of others who were preparing for the holidays. What a heartbreaking #Thanksgiving2022 so many families will have as a result of this tragedy! I am just beyond words right now! Hold your loved ones close my friends!!"
Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, Winsome Earle-Sears
"Our hearts continue to grieve as we learn of more victims of senseless violence in Chesapeake. We mourn the many victims of fatal violence and suicide around the Commonwealth and our nation. Our society is hurting. All life is precious. I commit to making mental health issues a priority of my office and will be working with the Governor, Attorney General, the General Assembly, and local leaders to address this crisis. Let us grieve and pray for these families as we begin to gather for Thanksgiving as they will have one last chair at their tables."
U.S. Representative Bobby Scott
"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."
Virginia State Senator Mamie Locke
"Yet another mass shooting at a Chesapeake Walmart. Seven known dead, including the shooter. When will this madness of gun violence stop? As Thanksgiving approaches, let's be grateful for family and friends. Families in Chesapeake are mourning the loss of family members and praying for healing of those in hospital due to gun violence. When will we the courage to fix this problem."
Senator Louise Lucas
"I am absolutely heartbroken that America’s latest mass shooting took place in a Walmart in my district in Chesapeake, Virginia tonight. I will not rest until we find the solutions to end this gun violence epidemic in our country that has taken so many lives."
Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney Ramin Fatehi
"My heart breaks for the citizens of Chesapeake, for the workers at Wal-Mart, for the victims, for their families, and for the @chesapeakepolice. Chesapeake holds a special place in my heart: I prosecuted there for four years, and my father spent over 30 years of his career as a neurosurgeon there healing people. I remember when that Wal-Mart, the first in Hampton Roads, was built, and many years later, I got to know the folks who worked there through my work. I pray for them, for the victims and their families, and for peace from the scourge of #gunviolence."