What's the future of the Chesapeake Walmart building?
The City of Chesapeake on Saturday said the city's police department's forensic unit and the FBI have completed their crime scene investigation at the Walmart on Sam's Circle, where six people died after a man opened fire on Tuesday night before turning the gun on himself. Several others were also injured.
In a tweet, the city said control of the store will be returned to Walmart. Walmart will be responsible for deciding what comes next for the location.
Officials said the shooting investigation remains underway.
On Saturday, Walmart released the following statement to News 3.
We’ll continue focusing our attention on offering support to our associates, families and loved ones in every way possible. We will work very closely with our associates and rely on their input to determine the best time to reopen the store.
On Wednesday, Chesapeake city officials identified the victims as Lorenzo Gable, 43, of Chesapeake; Randy Blevins, 70, of Chesapeake; Brian Pendleton, 38, of Chesapeake; Kellie Pyle, 52, of Chesapeake; and Tyneka Johnson, 22, of Portsmouth; and 16-year-old Fernando Chavez-Barron, of Chesapeake.Growing memorial honors Walmart mass shooting victims
Officials said seven other people had to go to the hospital with injuries. Three had gunshot wounds, and four other people had other injuries that were not gunshot-related.
Many are still mourning as they visit a growing makeshift memorial outside of the Walmart store.
"A horrific incident has happened," said a longtime resident, Kecia Brothers-Hayes. "Never did I ever think something like this would hit so close. This is like minutes away from my home. This is a place where we shop at probably every two weeks."
On Saturday, crime scene tape could still be seen around the store, but some questioned even the thought of the store's doors reopening.
"I think this is too soon to even have this on the table for consideration," Brothers-Hayes said.
Timothy Douglas told News 3 his works at the Sam's Circle Walmart location. Douglas said he would continue to shop at that store.
"It wouldn't bother me, and I'm not being insensitive to the situation, but it's going to take time," he said.
But the pain of this incident still lingers.
"I mean these were innocent victims working hard for Walmart," said Brothers-Hayes.
On Friday, the city said it would hold a special meeting Monday "in Council Chambers to confirm the Emergency Declaration, which will free up funding to support recovery following the Walmart shooting. No other matters will be discussed."
The meeting starts at 5 p.m.
Later that evening, at 6 p.m. there will be a candlelight vigil at City Park to honor the six victims.