CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — The City of Chesapeake held a vigil Monday evening to honor the victims killed in a mass shooting at a Walmart.
The ceremony included Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Chesapeake Mayor Rick West, who called the shooting the city’s darkest hour.
“Tonight we will light our candles together as one community,” West said.
Youngkin talked about each of the victims and said “we need to change the conditions of our society that create a lack of respect for human life.” He pledged bipartisan work in Richmond toward solutions.
Andre Bing, 31, is accused of shooting and killing six people, injuring at least three others, before turning the gun on himself shortly after 10 p.m. on Tuesday, November 22, at the Walmart Supercenter near Battlefield Boulevard in Chesapeake.
Investigators reveal the weapon used was a 9mm handgun legally purchased from a local store on the morning of the attack. Bing had no previous criminal record.
In the Walmart parking lot, where police tape was still up more than one week later, a memorial was formed for the six Walmart employees who were shot and killed that night.
The shooting has city leaders using their power to support their families, and those still in the hospital. The city held a special meeting at 5 p.m. Monday to discuss plans to use an Emergency Declaration to allow city funds to support the recovery from the shooting. The meeting lasted less than 10 minutes.
Chesapeake Mayor Rick West says the city’s human services department is working on the best way to give aid to the victims’ families.
Right after the meeting, the city held a community vigil at Chesapeake City Park. Hundreds came out to pray and grieve.
“We are facing a sense of anger, a sense of fear, a sense of immense loss, a sense of deep, deep grief,” Youngkin said. Youngkin also highlighted the mental health and behavioral health crisis plaguing the country.
Speakers at the vigil included Mayor West, Gov. Glenn Youngkin, Chesapeake City Council Member Don J. Carey, III, and retired Chief of Police Kelvin Wright.
In an interview Mayor West said he understands the pain the families of the victims are going through.
“Some of them now are still in such shock,” West said. “They can’t even assess their own needs it’s going to take time”
“This vigil, I’m telling you, is a powerful way of making a statement, so I hope we can get a lot of folks will come out to show their prayers and the support for these families.”
A Walmart spokesperson says they are working closely with employees and are currently “receiving input” regarding the best time to reopen the location.