Witness: The Walmart shooter appeared to target specific individuals

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — The Walmart supervisor who shot dead six employees in Virginia appeared to target people and fire at some victims after they were already hit and appeared dead, a witness who was present when the shooting said started.

Jessica Wilczewski said workers were gathered in a break room at a store to begin their night shift late Tuesday when team leader Andre Bing stepped in and opened fire with a pistol. While another witness described Bing as shooting wildly, Wilczewski said she saw him attack certain individuals.

“The way he was acting β€” he was hunting,” Wilczewski told The Associated Press on Thursday. “The way he looked at people’s faces and the way he did what he did, he chose people.” She said she saw him shooting at people who were already on the ground.

“What I do know is that he made sure whoever he wanted dead was dead,” she said. β€œHe went back and shot bodies that were already dead. Play it safe.”

Wilczewski said she only worked at the store for five days and doesn’t know who Bing gets along with or has problems with. She said the fact that she was a new employee may have been why he spared her.

She said that after the shooting started, a colleague who was sitting next to her pulled her under the table to hide. She said that at one point Bing told her to come out from under the table. But when he saw who she was, he said to her, “Jessie, go home.” She said she got up slowly and then ran out of the store.

Meanwhile, police try to determine a motive while former employees struggle to understand the killing spree in Chesapeake, a town of about 250,000 near the Virginia coast.

Some who have worked with Bing said he has a reputation for being an aggressive, if not hostile, boss who once admitted to having “anger issues.” But he could also make people laugh and seemed to be able to cope with the typical work pressures that many people face.

“I don’t think he had a lot of people to draw on in his personal life,” said Nathan Sinclair, who worked at Walmart for almost a year before leaving earlier this month. In conversations between colleagues, we said: ‘The work consumes my life.’ And (Bing) would be like, ‘Yeah, I don’t have a social life anyway,'” Sinclair recalled Thursday.

Sinclair said he and Bing didn’t get along. Bing is known for being “verbally hostile” toward employees and isn’t particularly popular, Sinclair said. But there were times when Bing was ridiculed and not necessarily treated fairly.

“You can’t tell what he might have been thinking … You never know if someone really doesn’t have a support group,” Sinclair said.

All in all, Bing seemed pretty normal to Janice Strausburg, who knew him from his 13-year stint at Walmart before he left in June.

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

Strausburg thought Bing’s grumpiness was due to the stress that comes with any job. He also once told her that he “had anger issues” and complained that he was “getting the managers in trouble.”

She had never expected that.

“I think he had mental health issues,” Strausburg said on Thursday. “What else could it be?”

Tuesday night’s violence in Chesapeake was the nation’s second high-profile mass shooting in four days. Bing was dead when officers reached the store in the state’s second-largest city. Authorities said he appeared to have shot himself.

Police have identified the victims as Brian Pendleton, 38; Kelly Pyle, 52; Lorenzo Gamble, 43; and Randy Blevins, 70, all from Chesapeake; and Tyneka Johnson, 22, from nearby Portsmouth. They said the dead included a 16-year-old boy whose name was withheld because of his age.