CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WRIC) — The mother of one of the surviving victims of the deadly mass shooting inside of a Chesapeake Walmart says she’s grateful her son is alive.
Kimberly Shupe said her 24-year-old son, Jalon Jones, had been working at the Chesapeake Walmart for around a year before he was shot alongside around a dozen others inside the store Tuesday night.
Shupe said her son told her it was just a normal day at work — a group of employees was gathered in the break room to have their daily meeting when the associates started to realize something was up.
“He then noticed his manager was looking kinda different, he just didn’t understand what was going on,” Shupe said. “Everyone thought it was just a [bad] mood or something.”
Suddenly, Shupe said her son told her the circumstances changed, “it transitioned from that look, to actually seeing a gun.”
The chaos began, and Jones was grazed by a bullet in his ear.
“He thought he was going to die,” Shupe described.
She said her son immediately began to try and get to a safe place, and even had to jump over other people to get out.
“He saw people on the ground, he said he had to kind of jump over them to save himself,” his mother described.
Shupe said her son made his way to the front of the store only to get shot for a second time, this time in the back, mere moments away from freedom from the terrifying attack. His mother said a coworker helped him escape outside, where they took cover in a vehicle until the medics arrived.
“I’m just thankful that he survived,” Shupe said.
Jones was admitted to the hospital last night, where he was put on a ventilator. His mother said he is now in stable condition and talking, but cannot walk and is bedridden. While Jones fights his own physical battles, his mother says he’s also dealing with the emotional toll of such a traumatic event, and seeing his coworkers shot down beside him.
“Yes, there’s trauma. He’s really dealing with that almost as much as the injuries. The trauma of people being injured and hurt that he might not ever see again.”
As for the rest of the day, Shupe is staying at the hospital with her son. Her parents traveled to visit, and she said all of the family will be spending Thanksgiving together in the hospital.
“The people you love in your life just make sure you always let them know you love them. You never know when they walk out the door if you’re ever going to see them again,” Shupe said. “You never know when you’re going to have that last moment.”
The alleged shooter was identified by the company as a store associate, 31-year-old Andre Bing, of Chesapeake. Bing was confirmed to be an overnight team lead at the store, and a spokesperson for Walmart said he has been employed with the company for more than ten years — since 2010. Police confirmed he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was armed with one handgun, and police said he had multiple magazines on his person.