Walmart shooter bought gun hours before attack, police say

Bing’s colleague who survived the shooting said he was tough and notoriously hostile to employees.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. – The Walmart supervisor who shot dead six colleagues in Virginia left what he called a “death note” on the phone apologizing for what he was about to do and blaming those Others mocked him.

“Sorry everyone, but I didn’t plan for this. I promise everything happened as if I was led by Satan,” Andre Bing wrote on a note left on his phone, Chesapeake Police said Friday.

Police also said the gun, a 9mm handgun, was legally purchased the morning of the shooting and Bing had no criminal record.

The note has been slightly edited to remove the names of specific people he mentioned.

He claimed he was “harassed by idiots of low intelligence and lack of wisdom” and said he was pushed to the edge of the abyss when he learned that his phone had been hacked.

He wrote, “My only wish is to start over and my parents would pay more attention to my social deprivation.” Bing died at the scene apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Bing’s colleague who survived the shooting said he was tough and notoriously hostile to employees. One survivor said Bing appeared to target people and shot at some of the victims after they had been hit and appeared to be dead, a witness who was present when the shooting began said.

Jessica Wilczewski said workers were gathering in the store break room to begin their overnight shift late Tuesday when Bing, a team leader, walked in and opened fire with a pistol. While another witness described Bing shooting wildly, Wilczewski said she observed him targeting certain people.

Wilczewski told the AP news agency on Thursday: “The way he acted – he was hunting. The way he looks people in the face and the way he does what he does, he’s choosing other people.”

She said she had observed him shooting at people already on the ground.

“What I do know is that he was certain that the person he wanted to die, was dead,” she said. “He turned around and shot dead bodies. To make sure.”

Wilczewski said she’s only been at the store for five days and doesn’t know if Bing is close or has problems with anyone. She said that being a new employee could be the reason she was spared.

She said that after filming began, a colleague sitting next to her dragged her under the table to hide. She said that at one point Bing told her to get under the table. But when he saw who she was, he said to her, “Jessie, go home.” She said then slowly got up and ran out of the store.

Former colleagues and residents of Chesapeake, a city of about 250,000 people near the coast of Virginia, struggled to make sense of the rage.

Several people who have worked with Bing, 31, said he has a reputation as an aggressive, if not hostile, supervisor who once admitted to having an “anger problem”. But he can also make people laugh and seems to be dealing with the typical stress at work that many people endure.

“I don’t think he has many people to lean on in his personal life,” said Nathan Sinclair, who worked at Walmart for nearly a year before leaving earlier this month.

In conversations between colleagues, “We would be like ‘work is taking over my life’. And (Bing) would say, ‘Yeah, I don’t have a social life anyway,'” Sinclair recalled on Thursday.

Sinclair said he and Bing don’t get along. Sinclair said Bing has a reputation for being “hostile” to employees and is not particularly well liked. But there are times when Bing is made fun of and not necessarily treated fairly.

“Can’t say what he might have been thinking. … You never know if someone really doesn’t have any kind of support group,” says Sinclair.

All in all, Bing seems pretty normal for Janice Strausburg, who knew him while working at Walmart for 13 years before leaving in June.

Bing can be “brutal” but can also be “gentle,” she says. He made everyone laugh and told Strausburg that he loved to dance. When she invited him to church, he declined but said his mother used to be a preacher.

Strausburg attributed Bing’s grumpiness to the stresses of any job. He also once told her that he “has an anger problem” and complained that he would “cause trouble for the managers”.

“I think he has a mental problem,” Strausburg said on Thursday. “What else could it be?”

Tuesday night’s violence in the Chesapeake was the nation’s second mass shooting in four days.

Police have identified the victims as Brian Pendleton, 38; Kellie Pyle, 52 years old; Lorenzo Gamble, 43 years old; and Randy Blevins, 70, both from Chesapeake; and Tyneka Johnson, 22, of nearby Portsmouth. Police said the dead also included a 16-year-old boy who was not named because of his age.

A Walmart spokesperson confirmed in an email that all of the victims worked for the company.

Another Walmart employee, Briana Tyler, said Bing seems to activate randomly.

“He just shot all over the room. It doesn’t matter who he hits,” Tyler told the AP Wednesday.

Six people were also injured in the shooting, which occurred shortly after 10 p.m. as shoppers were shopping ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Police said they believe about 50 people were in the store at the time.

Bing was identified as the overnight team leader, having been a Walmart employee since 2010. Police said he had a pistol and several magazines.

Tyler said the overnight reserve team of 15 to 20 people had just gathered in the break room to review the morning plan. Another team leader began speaking when Bing entered the room and opened fire, Tyler and Wiczewski said.

Tyler, who started at Walmart two months ago and only worked with Bing the night before, says she’s never had a negative issue with him, but others tell her he’s It’s the “manager to watch out for”. She said Bing has a history of writing on people for no reason.

This is the second major mass shooting in Virginia this month. Three University of Virginia football players were shot dead on a bus on November 13 as they returned from a field trip. Two other students were injured.

The Walmart shooting also comes days after a man opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado — killing five people and injuring 17. Tuesday night’s shooting brought back memories of another attack at a Walmart in 2019, when a gunman killed 23 people at a store in El Paso, Texas.

Wilczewski, who survived Tuesday’s shooting in Virginia, said she tried but was unable to visit a memorial in the store’s parking lot Wednesday.

“I wrote a letter and I wanted to post it there,” she said. “I wrote to people I witnessed death. And I said I’m sorry I wasn’t louder. I’m sorry you can’t feel my touch. But you are not alone.”

Barakat reports from Falls Church, Virginia. Associated Press writers Denise Lavoie in Chesapeake and news researchers Rhonda Shafner and Randy Herschaft in New York contributed to this report.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/nation-world/walmart-shooter-bought-gun/507-68bc3d02-51b2-4e4d-b09e-8cc30c5c5abd Walmart shooter bought gun hours before attack, police say

Edmund DeMarche

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