President Biden on Wednesday said he mourns for Chesapeake, Virginia, and directed federal officials to support the town after a Walmart employee late Tuesday opened fire, killing six inside the store.
Police said they think the gunman died from a self-inflicted shot.
“Because of yet another horrific and senseless act of violence, there are now even more tables across the country that will have empty seats this Thanksgiving,” Mr. Biden said. “There are now more families who know the worst kind of loss and pain imaginable.”
Police said they responded to a Walmart call at 10:12 p.m. amid pre-Thanksgiving shopping. The shooter had opened fire on fellow employees in a breakroom, police said.
The shooting occurred after a gunman killed five people at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs last weekend and a University of Virginia student earlier this month allegedly killed three football players on a bus returning from a class trip.
Mr. Biden has issued repeated calls for a ban on military-style, or “assault,” weapons in the wake of the mass shootings.
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“This year, I signed the most significant gun reform in a generation, but that is not nearly enough,” Mr. Biden said. “We must take greater action.”
Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears focused on mental health in a statement mourning the tragedy.
“Our society is hurting. All life is precious,” she said. “I commit to making mental health issues a priority of my office and will be working with the governor, attorney general, the General Assembly and local leaders to address this crisis.”