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A gunman has opened fire on a Walmart department store in Chesapeake, Virginia, with police saying there are “multiple fatalities” as well as wounded people at the scene.
Police are still combing the scene but believe the number of people killed is “less than 10”, a police spokesperson told reporters gathered outside the store.
The local police believe the suspect — a lone shooter — is dead.
Chesapeake Police Department spokesperson Leo Kosinski said he doesn’t believe responding officers fired shots, but it was unclear whether the shooter was dead of a self-inflicted gunshot.
More than 40 emergency vehicles were rushed to the Walmart outlet on Battlefield Boulevard after a 911 call was made at 10.12 pm local time on Tuesday.
Mr Kosinski said when the police responded to the scene, they realised that it was an active shooting situation and changed their tactics accordingly.
“Over the course of next 30-40 minutes, we were able to find multiple fatalities and multiple injured parties.”
At least five injured people were rushed to the Norfolk General Hospital for treatment, Sentara Healthcare spokesperson Mike Kafka told the Associated Press.
Police said a family reunification site has been set up at the Chesapeake Conference Centre. This site is only for “immediate family members or the emergency contact of those who may have been in the building”, they said.
Virginia state senator Louise Lucas in a tweet late on Tuesday said she was “absolutely heartbroken” that America’s latest mass shooting took place in a Walmart in her district of Chesapeake.
She added: “I will not rest until we find the solutions to end this gun violence epidemic in our country that has taken so many lives.”
Senator Mark Warner said he was “sickened” by the reports of the mass shooting and will be “monitoring the developments closely”.
“Sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake,” Mr Warner said in a tweet. “In the meantime, I urge all those in the community to listen to guidance from local law enforcement and stay away from the scene.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reportedly working with Chesapeake Police in the probe.