Walmart shooter left a death note, bought gun day of killing

A couple embracing by a memorial to Walmart mass shooting victims in Chesapeake, Va.
Debbie and Chet Barnett embrace after placing flowers at a memorial outside the Walmart in Chesapeake, Va., where a manager shot dead six co-workers.
(Billy Schuerman / Virginian-Pilot via Associated Press)

The Walmart supervisor who fatally shot six co-workers at a store in Virginia bought the gun just hours before the killings and left a note on his phone accusing colleagues of mocking him, authorities said Friday.

“Sorry everyone but I did not plan this I promise things just fell in place like I was led by the Satan,” Andre Bing wrote in a note that was left on his phone, the Chesapeake Police Department said Friday.

Police said that the 9-millimeter handgun used in the Tuesday night shooting was legally purchased that morning and that Bing had no criminal record. They released a copy of the note found on his phone that appeared to redact the names of specific people he mentioned.


It was not clear when the note was written, but in it Bing said he was harassed and claimed he was pushed to the brink by a perception that his phone was hacked.

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“My only wish would have been to start over from scratch and that my parents would have paid closer attention to my social deficits,” he wrote. Bing died at the scene of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Co-workers of Bing who survived the shooting said he was difficult and known for being hostile toward fellow employees. One survivor said Bing seemed to target people as he fired and shot at some victims after they were already hit.

Jessica Wilczewski said workers were gathered in a store break room to begin their overnight shift late Tuesday when Bing, a team leader, entered and opened fire.

Though another witness has described Bing as shooting wildly, Wilczewski said she observed him targeting certain people.


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“The way he was acting — he was going hunting,” Wilczewski told the Associated Press on Thursday. “The way he was looking at people’s faces and the way he did what he did, he was picking people out.”

Wilczewski, who had worked at the store for just five days, said being a new employee may have been the reason she was spared.

She said that she hid under a table after the shooting started and that at one point, Bing told her to get out from under the table. But when he saw who she was, he told her, “Jessie, go home.”

Law enforcement at the scene of the mass shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Va.
FBI and other law enforcement officials work at the scene of a mass shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Va.
(Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

Former co-workers and residents of Chesapeake, a city of about 250,000 people near Virginia’s coast, have been struggling to make sense of the rampage.

Bing’s death note rambles at times through 11 paragraphs, with references to nontraditional cancer treatments and songwriting. He says people unfairly compared him to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, and wrote: “I would have never killed anyone who entered my home.”

And he wished for a wife but wrote he didn’t deserve one.

Some who worked with Bing, 31, said he had a reputation for being an aggressive, even 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.

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“I don’t think he had many people to fall back on in his personal life,” said Nathan Sinclair, who worked at that 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 [Bing] would be like, ‘Yeah, I don’t have a social life anyway,’” Sinclair recalled Thursday.

Sinclair said he and Bing did not get along. Bing was known for being “verbally hostile” to employees and wasn’t particularly well-liked. Sinclair also said there were times when Bing was made fun of.

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

Two others who were shot remained hospitalized, police said Friday. One is still in critical condition, and the other is in fair to improving condition.

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Six people were wounded in the shooting, which happened just after 10 p.m. as shoppers were stocking up ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Police said they believe about 50 people were in the store at the time.

Bing was identified as an overnight team manager who had been a Walmart employee since 2010. Police said he had one handgun and several magazines of ammunition.

A woman demonstrating how a gunman shot indiscriminately.
Briana Tyler demonstrates how the gunman in Tuesday night’s shooting in Chesapeake, Va., fired. She narrowly escaped injury.
(Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

The attack was the second major shooting in Virginia this month. Three University of Virginia football players were fatally shot on a bus Nov. 13 as they returned from a field trip. Two other students were wounded.

Walmart employee Briana Tyler said the overnight stocking team of 15 to 20 people had just gathered in the break room to go over the morning plan.

Another team leader had begun speaking when Bing entered the room and opened fire, Tyler and Wilczewski said.

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The Walmart shooting also came days after a person opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo., killing five and wounding 18. Tuesday night’s shooting brought back memories of another attack at a Walmart in 2019, when a gunman killed 23 at a store in El Paso.

Also on Friday, a person suffered injuries not considered life-threatening after being shot at a Walmart in Lumberton, N.C., police said. Investigators described it as an isolated altercation between two people who knew each other.