SOme said he was a loner. Others said he could be gruff and unresponsive.
Police said they had discovered a “manifesto” of sorts on Andre Bing’s mobile phone, in which he complained about unspecified changes in his employment status, and what he called other staff harassing him about it. According to one report, police found close to his body a list of employees he planned to attack.
As America celebrated Thanksgiving Day, police in Chesapeake, Virginia, were looking for clues to the mass shooting as a Walmart store, an incident whose horror reverberated across the country, another shocking mass shooting that took place in the most mundane of environments.
In Nantucket, Massachusetts, a vacationing Joe Biden was asked about the incident and vowed he would take action to control sales of semi-automatic weapons.
“The idea that we’re not enforcing red flag laws… is ridiculous,” he said. “The idea that we are still allowing semi-automatic weapons to be bought is sick. Just sick. It has no, no social redemptive value. Zero. No. There’s no reason for it except profit for the gun manufacturers.
The Walmart incident — actually carried out with a gun — was the second in just over a week that Virginia had experienced. Three University of Virginia football players were fatally shot on November 13 on a bus as they were returning to campus from a field trip.
Meanwhile, the shooting came days after a person opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, killing five people and injuring 17.
Following Tuesday night’s murder in a staff room, tributes were paid to the victims – six people who died, along with several others who were injured, some seriously. Bing also took his own life.
According to the police, about 50 people were in the supermarket at the time.
The dead were identified as Randy Blevins, 70, Lorenzo Gamble, 43, Tyneka Johnson, 22, Brian Pendleton, 38, Kellie Pyle, 52, and a 16-year-old boy, who has not been named because he was a minor.
As authorities in Chesapeake and across the state of Virginia paid tribute to the victims of the shooter, police were still trying to get full details of what happened and what led 31-year-old Bing to open fire on his colleagues . , and anyone near the teacher’s lounge.
Briana Tyler, 28, was one of the teachers’ lounge staff who described being appalled after seeing Bing in the doorway with his gun.
“Everyone was just waiting to figure out where they were going for the night and then all of a sudden you hear ‘pa pa pa pa pa pa,” Tyler told TSTIME.
She said he didn’t speak or point the gun at anyone in particular. “He just had this blank look on his face, and he just literally looked around the room and just shot and people just fell on the floor.”
She added: “The two visions I can’t get out of my head are the vision of him shooting the gun and the smoke escaping. I watch the smoke coming from the barrel of the gun and my girlfriend is bleeding from her neck.
Walmart attack leaves several dead and others injured
Jessie Wilczewski, a Walmart employee on her fifth day of work, sat in a break room with about 14 other employees and their manager to learn about their duties for the day when the gunman began firing “from left to right,” she told local authorities. news channel WAVY-TV
She said she hid under a table. Afterward, she said the gunman looked her in the eye and told her, “Jessie, go home.”
“It didn’t even look real until you could feel when the gun goes off — pow pow pow — you can feel it,” Wilczewski said. “I couldn’t hear it at first because I think it was so loud I could feel it.”
Several staff members said that Bing was someone who could behave strangely.
A former employee who worked under him but left the store six months ago said: “I never saw this coming, not from a million miles away. He was always a little eccentric, a little hyper, but pretty easy going, carefree. Sometimes he could be a bit difficult to get along with, some employees didn’t like him. But I don’t think they bullied him.”
The man told WAVY-TV that he didn’t think Bing suffered from any specific kind of anger issues. However, there may have been some problems.
“I mean, from what I saw, he was a good guy, but I heard he had problems, and they tried to talk him through his problems,” he said.
Bing lived in the Eva Gardens area of Chesapeake, Virginia’s second largest city, and was often seen driving a small green Ford Focus.
“I just saw him passing by, he drives a little green Ford Focus,” Vera McDuffy, who has lived next door to Bing for two years, told the channel. She said she heard police yell, “Search warrant! Search warrant!” when they broke down his door after Tuesday’s incident.
According to reports, police had found no additional weapons or supplies of ammunition. Police said Bing, who had been employed by WalMart since 2010 and always worked as a night manager, had a gun and several magazines of ammunition. He was not wearing military clothing or tactical vests, police said.
A number of employees described Bing as someone who could act somewhat eccentric, though nothing led anyone to anticipate what happened on Tuesday.
Shaundrayia Reese, 27, told NBC News that she had worked at the store from 2014 to 2018, working with Bing on the night re-stock team.
She said he didn’t “do social media” and in a video she once shot of her colleagues, Bing “jumped to the side a little bit” to avoid being filmed.
“He put tape on his phone, on the camera. Always told us the government was watching,” says Reese, who lives in Chesapeake. “He was just weird.”
Police said they responded to 911 calls around 10:12 p.m. Tuesday night, after reports of an active shooter at the store.
The first officers were on the scene within two minutes around 10:14 p.m. and officers entered the store around 10:16 p.m.
“Once inside, officers began tracking down and evacuating residents in the store. Agents found several injured and deceased persons during their search,” the department said in a statement.
“At least six injured people have been transported to local hospitals for further treatment. There were a total of seven deaths. Three people, including the gunman, were found dead in the canteen of the store. One victim was found dead near the front of the store. Three other victims were taken to local hospitals for further treatment but succumbed to their injuries.”
Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky said they continued to look for clues, but there was no clear motive for the incident, which also left four people hospitalized.
An employee who survived the disaster, Donya Prioleau, told TSTIME that Bing had “said a lot of disturbing things,” but that no one expected this deadly event to unfold when they showed up for work on Tuesday.
“We don’t know why he did this,” she said. “None of us can understand why it happened.”