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Sentara doctors and nurses speak about Walmart mass shooting response

Trauma care surgeons at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital say they received the call late last night about a mass shooting and immediately put a strategy in place.

NORFOLK, Va. — It's a tragic scene that doctors and nurses say they prepare to take on at any moment but hope to never face.

Seven people died in the mass shooting at the Chesapeake Walmart Tuesday night, including the shooter. Seven others got hurt, according to hospital leaders.

Out of the people who died, medics rushed two to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where they later passed away.

Out of the seven people who got hurt, first responders rushed three of them to Sentara where Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Hooper said two are in the intensive care unit in critical condition and one is in good condition.

13News Now learned one of those people who survived is Jalon Jones. His mother spoke to the news outside of the hospital Wednesday afternoon.

Paramedics took the other four people who got hurt to Chesapeake Regional Hospital. A spokeswoman for the hospital said doctors treated the four people for minor injuries and released them Wednesday afternoon. She could not confirm if those minor injuries were from gunshots.

"Unfortunately, we deal with events like this very frequently... violence in the community of various sorts, so our team is very ready to deal with this type of event," said Dr. Hooper.

Acute care surgeon, Dr. Jessica Burgess said she was the backup on-call doctor and received the alert late Tuesday night. She said she worked overnight with her team to help save the people who got shot. 

"I enacted our emergency plan to get other people involved, other surgeons, other surgical residents," said Dr. Burgess. 

Dr. Burgess said her colleagues out west are just now recovering from their emergency response to the victims in the Colorado club shooting that claimed five lives.

"Two days ago, I was contacting one of my colleagues out in Colorado Springs wishing her well and checking in to see how she was doing after she was taking care of shooting victims," said Dr. Burgess. "So, it's very disheartening that now I'm in the same position with colleagues checking in on me and our team. So, it is disheartening." 

Burgess said she and her team worked overnight with surgeries. She said her team is no stranger to the devastating results of gun violence, calling this shooting nothing short of a tragedy.

"As a doctor, what I love is taking care of people and being able to be there in these kinds of situations and being able to help people when they are in need," said Burgess. "Certainly, as a parent, a spouse, and member of this community, it is heartbreaking."

Top healthcare leaders at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital said they provide victims and their families with mental health services during tragic times.

They also provide similar services to their own hospital workers.

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