CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Chesapeake Police spent Wednesday combing through evidence at the Walmart on Sam’s Circle. They said it could take several days to finish processing the scene.
13News Now spoke with a former Virginia Beach Police investigator and spokesman to look more closely at what will happen in the coming days.
“These types of scenes, unfortunately nationwide, are occurring on a more regular basis than anyone would have ever imagined,” said Michael Carey. “Here in our own backyard, that is tough too.”
As the community copes with another mass shooting in Hampton Roads, Carey is looking at this tragedy through a different lens.
“There are quite a bit of moving parts to this investigation early on and throughout,” Carey said.
Carey spent 26 years with the Virginia Beach Police department. Now he works as the chief investigator for the Breit Biniazan Law Firm. He said right when an active shooter call goes out, police officers have one immediate goal.
“It is a tough pill to swallow for law enforcement if you are passing by people who have been critically injured, or crying out for help, but you have to go to that shooter and neutralize that threat,” Carey said. “So no other loss of life takes place.”
Chesapeake Police said the shooter at the Walmart on Sam’s Circle turned the gun on himself Tuesday night. Once first responders declared the scene safe and gave immediate aid to victims, Carey said the investigation began. He said that will take as long as it needs to.
“Make no mistake they are not in a rush,” Carey said. “They want to gather the information, they want to gather the evidence, then hopefully have some takeaways from this.”
Multiple agencies are assisting Chesapeake Police, including the FBI.
“The FBI has unfortunately seen it all nationwide, and they don’t hesitate to bring in their professionals to assist and supplement the local forensic technicians,” Carey said.
Carey said all agencies will likely split the work.
“Each entity is tasked with certain components of the investigation,” Carey said. “It may be collecting evidence and photographing it.”
Even though police confirm the shooter is dead, Carey said investigators will work hard to find out a motive.
“If this was a planned out event or was it something more spontaneous,” Carey said. “If it is not a crime of passion, there has, more than likely, been a planning phase. Or did something happen earlier in the day, on this person’s shift, that triggered them to do something this horrific?”
Carey also talked about the impact of what first responders saw inside Walmart. He said their department leaders will likely provide mental health professionals with peer support or a critical incident debriefing, where they can come together as a group and talk about it.
Along with the FBI, we know Virginia State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco from Washington D.C. are also helping in this investigation.