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Walmart shooting gunman bought gun hours before deadly rampage and left a "death note" on his phone

Walmart shooter bought gun hours before killing
Walmart shooter legally bought gun hours before killing 02:59

The gunman in the deadly shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, bought the gun he used in the rampage legally hours before he opened fire on his co-workers, city officials said Friday. 

Andre Bing, 31, bought the 9 mm handgun at a store Tuesday morning and killed six people that night, Chesapeake officials said. Police found the gunman dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in the store's break room, where the shooting unfolded, officials said.

The gunman didn't have a criminal history, officials said Friday.

Police have identified the victims as: Fernando Chavez-Barron, 16; Brian Pendleton, 38; Kellie Pyle, 52; Lorenzo Gamble, 43; and Randy Blevins, 70, who were all from Chesapeake; and Tyneka Johnson, 22, of nearby Portsmouth. Police initially withheld Chavez-Barron's name because of his age and released it Friday morning.

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

City officials also said Friday that police conducted a forensic analysis of the gunman's phone and discovered what was labeled a "death note" that included rambling descriptions of perceived grievances with his co-workers.

FBI agents are seen outside a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, after a mass shooting November 23, 2022.
FBI agents are seen outside a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, after a mass shooting November 23, 2022. Reuters/Jay Paul

Some who worked with the gunman said he had a reputation for being an aggressive, if not hostile, supervisor, who once admitted to having "anger issues." But he also could make people laugh and seemed to be dealing with the typical stresses at work that many people endure.

"I don't think he had many people to fall back on in his personal life," said Nathan Sinclair, who worked at the Walmart for nearly a year before leaving earlier this month.

During chats among co-workers, "We would be like 'work is consuming my life.' And (the gunman) would be like, 'Yeah, I don't have a social life anyway,'" Sinclair recalled Thursday.

Sinclair said he and the gunman did not get along. He was known for being "verbally hostile" to employees and wasn't particularly well-liked, Sinclair said. But there were times when the gunman was made fun of and not necessarily treated fairly.

"There's no telling what he could have been thinking. … You never know if somebody really doesn't have any kind of support group," Sinclair said.

On balance, the gunman seemed pretty normal to Janice Strausburg, who knew him from working at Walmart for 13 years before leaving in June.

The gunman could be "grumpy" but could also be "placid," she said. He made people laugh and told Strausburg he liked dance. When she invited him to church, he declined but mentioned that his mother had been a preacher.

Strausburg thought the gunman's grumpiness was due to the stresses that come with any job. He also once told her that he had "had anger issues" and complained he was going to "get the managers in trouble."

But she never expected this.

"I think he had mental issues," Strausburg said Thursday. "What else could it be?"

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