CHESAPEAKE, Va. — When a Walmart manager started shooting in a break room late Tuesday night, it sent people running.
There were about 50 people in the store at the time. Many of them made it out safely, but six did not.
The gunman killed six people before turning the gun on himself, leaving families grieving and searching for answers. The six killed are:
- 43-year-old Lorenzo Gamble
- 38-year-old Brian Pendleton
- 52-year-old Kellie Pyle
- 70-year-old Randy Blevins
- 22-year-old Tyneka Johnson
- A 16-year-old boy was also killed. Because he is a minor, police have not released his name.
Pyle's cousin William Pillar-Gibson said in part in a Facebook message to 13News Now: "We are all devastated from the loss of such a wonderful person. Filled with hilarious sarcasm, and love for her family. She's been my best friend since birth, and I will never understand why this man took her from us."
Witnesses, like Walmart employee Briana Tyler, described the moment the gunman opened fire.
"He just literally started shooting throughout the entire break room and I watched multiple people just drop down to the floor," she recounted.
But 24-year-old Jalon Jones made it outside with his life.
"I’m grateful," said Jones' mother, Kimberly Shupe.
Shupe said when she heard about the shooting, she was praying for the best, but preparing for the worst.
"If he’s not answering his phone, answering his text messages, and there’s a shooting at his job, you just kind of put two and two together and hope for the best, but pray that everything is gonna be alright."
Jones, a Walmart associate, is recovering now at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Shupe said he told her he noticed his manager acting strange and then he saw the gun.
Shupe said a bullet grazed his ear and he tried to run to the front of the store for help. That's when he was shot in the back.
"To hear him say that he was fighting and that he actually felt he was leaving, but he just kept coming back, that’s real. I’m very enthused that he pushed through that," Shupe said.
Shupe urges everyone to hold their loved ones close.
"The people you love in your life, just always let them know you love them because you just never know when they walk out the door if you’re ever gonna see them again."
His mother tells us he’s doing a lot better today. Early Wednesday morning, he was on a ventilator, but this afternoon, Shupe said he is stable and talking.
We’ve also learned Wednesday night Sentara Norfolk General released a patient who was previously listed in good condition. They’re still caring for two others that were injured.
Shupe said as her son heals physically, it will take time to heal emotionally as well.