6 people are fatally shot at a Walmart in Virginia, authorities say

There was another act of violence against civilians in the United States this month. Five people were killed at an LGBTQ club in a shooting in Colorado Springs over the weekend. A week earlier, three members of the University of Virginia football team were killed in Charlottesville, Virginia, by a former football player who opened fire in a garage, authorities said.

The Walmart shooting was one of several attacks on American grocery stores and large retail outlets in recent years. In 2019, a 21-year-old gunman stalked shoppers at an El Paso Walmart, leaving 23 people dead and 26 others wounded. And in May, a teenage gunman opened fire at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, killing 10 people and injuring three others.

The Walmart supercenter where the shooting took place is one of several in southeastern Virginia. It includes a grocery store, pharmacy, bank, bakery and deli. Mr. Kosinski told reporters that the Walmart was “very, very big,” though he didn’t know the square footage.

After the shooting, photos and video from outside the Walmart showed officers crowded around the building’s Sam’s Circle entrance with numerous police vehicles in the store’s large parking lot, which is off Battlefield Boulevard. There was a big inflatable Santa Claus in front of the store.

Mr. Kosinski said officers searched the Walmart for additional victims just after midnight on Wednesday. The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said on Twitter that his officers were en route to Chesapeake to assist in the investigation.

Mr Kosinski said the large store had “lots of hiding places” for shoppers who might have sought cover during filming.

“People might get scared, they might hide,” he said. “We want to make sure everyone is accounted for.”

Authorities referred relatives of people affected by the shooting to the Chesapeake Conference Center. Local TV stations reported that a chaplain would be in attendance.

Chesapeake, a few miles south of Norfolk, had a population of about a quarter million people as of last year, according to the US Census Bureau. It is near the Atlantic coast of Virginia and the North Carolina border.

Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, a Democrat, said in a statement that he was “disgusted by reports of another mass shooting.”

L. Louise Lucas, Virginia State Senator, said on Twitter that she was “absolutely heartbroken that America’s most recent mass shooting took place at a Walmart in my Chesapeake county.”

“I will not rest,” she said, “until we find solutions to end this epidemic of gun violence in our country that has claimed so many lives.”