At least 10 persons have been confirmed dead and multiple injured following a shooting at a Walmart store in Chesapeake, Virginia, the United States of America.
The gunman, suspected to be the store manager, was said to have opened fire on shoppers in the late hours of Tuesday and killed himself afterwards.
“Chesapeake police confirm an active shooter incident with fatalities at the Walmart on Sam’s Circle. The shooter is deceased,” the city tweeted.
“We’re only a few hours into the response, so we don’t have all the answers yet.
“Chesapeake police continue their investigation into the active shooter event at Walmart on Sam’s Circle. We do know there are multiple fatalities plus injuries and the shooter is confirmed dead.”
GUN VIOLENCE IN THE US
In the US, access to guns is controlled by law under a number of federal statutes. The US supreme court rules that it protects any individual’s right to keep and bear arms unconnected with service in a militia for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defence within the home.
But the easy access has sparked heated debates in the country as to whether it drives safety or promotes violence.
So far, there have been more than 600 mass shootings this year in the US, according to the gun violence archive.
Mass shootings — where four or more people, not including the shooter, are injured or killed — have averaged more than one per day so far this year.
In 2021, almost 700 such incidents occurred, a jump from 610 in 2020 and 417 in 2019. Before that, incidents had not topped 400 annually since the gun violence archive started tracking in 2014.
A parade to mark 246 years of US independence was underway at Highland Park when gunshots were heard and people started running.
Incidents of gun violence in the US have also occurred in schools, hospitals, clubs and religious centres.