The United States witnessed yet another mass shooting on Tuesday (November 22) night, this time, in a Walmart supercenter at Chesapeake, Virginia. This was the second big mass shooting in three days after five people were killed and 25 injured in a shooting inside a Colorado Springs nightclub.
Around 10 killed, toll could rise
Spokesperson of the Chesapeake Police Department, Leo Kosinski held a short press conference where he said that the number of fatalities was “less than 10” and that officers were searching for more victims as he spoke.
The police department had responded to a report of a shooting inside Walmart at approximately 10 pm, around 45 minutes before the store was scheduled to shut, he said.
The Walmart supercenter, one of many in southern Virginia, is a huge establishment with a grocery store, pharmacy, bank, deli, among other businesses. Kosinski mentioned the possibility of finding more victims or survivors in other parts of the sprawling building. “People could get scared, they could be hiding,” Kosinski said. “We want to make sure that everyone is accounted for.”
Manager could be the shooter
While the police are yet to identify the shooter, multiple sources have claimed that the shooter was a manager at the Walmart store. The shooter’s current status is also unverified with no official comment from law enforcement but some reports have claimed that he died by suicide.
In the aftermath of the incident, Walmart tweeted, “We are shocked at this tragic event at 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.”
The endless cycle of gun violence
Gun reform is one of the most polarising issues in the US, with the American right fiercely against any restrictions on the right to bear firearms. Mass shootings like the one in Chesapeake rekindle fierce debate around the issue.
Here are some other high profile mass shootings from this year (2022). This is not an exhaustive list, it includes the shootings that garnered most attention. According to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, there have been more than 600 mass shooting incidents in the US this year.
Sacramento, April 3
Six people were killed and many more wounded outside a popular nightclub in downtown Sacramento around 2 am local time. The police attributed the shooting to “gang violence”, and identified multiple suspects. Three suspects have been arrested and charged. The trial is currently ongoing.
Brooklyn, April 12
A gunman opened fire inside a crowded subway coach during the morning rush hours. 10 people were wounded, and while there were no fatalities, this remains the most serious attack in New York’s transit system in decades. One suspect was arrested and is currently on trial on terrorism charges.
Buffalo, May 14
10 people were killed after a gunman opened fire in a supermarket in a predominantly black neighbourhood with a modified assault rifle. This was deemed by the authorities to be a hate crime. All the victims were black while the gunman was white. Before the shooting, the 18 year old suspect posted racist content on social media. After pleading not guilty, he is currently on trial.
Uvalde, May 24
A gunman killed 21 people, including 19 children, and wounded 21 others in a shooting inside an elementary school. While the police eventually shot the shooter dead, multiple questions were raised about their competence after they significantly delayed entering the school, possibly costing lives. The shooter was a former student of the school and used an AR-15 style assault rifle.
Highland Park, July 4
Seven people were killed and many more injured in a mass shooting that occurred during the fourth of July parade in the town. The gunman climbed onto the roof and indiscriminately shot at the parade. He was later arrested and charged with seven counts of first degree murder.
Colorado Springs, November 20
At least 5 people were killed and 18 injured after a gunman opened fire in a popular LGBTQ+ nightclub. He was injured in the shooting and is currently arrested at the hospital. Two firearms, an AR 15 style rifle and a handgun were recovered from the scene. The suspect was previously arrested when he threatened to cause harm to his mother with a homemade bomb.