John Bacon, Thao Nguyen, Paul Bibeau and Jorge L. Ortiz

CHESAPEAKE, Virginia – Flags across Virginia were flying at half staff Wednesday, hours after a store manager opened fire before an employee meeting at a Walmart, killing six people as a wave of deadly gun violence continued to sweep the nation. 

Chesapeake police spokesman Leo Kosinski said officers responding to a 911 call Tuesday night found several people wounded or hiding in the store and that rescue and tactical teams swept through providing “life-saving measures.” 

At least six survivors were transported to local hospitals, one in critical condition, city officials said. There were about 50 people at the store at the time of the attack, police said. Authorities haven’t said whether any of those killed or wounded was a customer.

Police identified those killed as Chesapeake residents Brian Pendleton, 38; Kellie Pyle, 52; Lorenzo Gamble, 43; and Randy Blevins, 70, along with Tyneka Johnson, 22, of nearby Portsmouth. The name of the sixth victim, a 16-year-old boy, was not released because of his age.

The shooting took place three days after a man with a rifle gunned down five people and wounded 17 at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“You hope a day like this never comes, but we train for it, we practice, we talk about it, we learn lessons,” Chesapeake City Manager Chris Price said at a briefing Wednesday. “You hope that those lessons will never have to be put to use.” 

Police Chief Mark Solesky said the first 911 call came in at 10:12 p.m., and the first officers arrived two minutes later. The assailant died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and a handgun was recovered at the scene, Solesky said. Police said the gunman was carrying multiple magazines.  

The bodies of two victims and the shooter were found in the break room of the store, city officials said. One body was found toward the front of the store, and three other victims were transported to local hospitals but died of their injuries.