The youngest victim of this week’s mass shooting inside a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, was reportedly a 16-year-old employee who used his first paycheck to buy a gift for his mother, two days before Thanksgiving, according to CNN.
Fernando Barron-Chavez, who was publicly identified as a teenager from the city of Chesapeake, was killed on Friday. According to a social media post from a media outlet, he opened fire on a manager in an employee break room during a meeting before taking the lives of five other coworkers.
Friends of the 16-year-old who was killed are grieving, while authorities are actively seeking more information about the shooter, which includes making a public disclosure of a note discovered on his mobile phone following the incident.
According to CNN affiliate WTKR, Fernando, who had recently begun working at Walmart, bought a present for his mother using his initial salary, as reported by individuals familiar with the matter.
A friend of Fernando’s, Joshua Trejo-Alvarado, expressed his disbelief that Fernando has passed away.
We got candles and flowers for him at home. Yesterday night, I prayed with my whole family for him. I wish he was still standing here with me. I was hoping everything today was a dream. Trejo-Alvarado told him on WTKR that I am speechless, and I am out of words.
According to WTKR, Fernando did not make it, as informed by his friend’s brother. The brother mentioned that Trejo-Alvarado messaged and phoned Fernando but did not get any reply. Eventually, he made a phone call.
“He would always be sociable with anyone he encountered. He was kind,” Trejo-Alvarado mentioned.
Randy Blevins, a septuagenarian of 70 years, Lorenzo Gamble, aged 43, Tyneka Johnson, a young adult of 22, Brian Pendleton, aged 38, and Kellie Pyle, aged 52, tragically lost their lives at the Walmart, alongside five additional individuals.
On Thanksgiving Day, the community gathered at a growing makeshift memorial outside the store to pay their respects for the lives lost in yet another mass shooting that turned a gruesome crime scene into a staple of daily life. Two people were still hospitalized in critical condition, as Thursday marked a city’s somber reminder.
To pay tribute to the victims, city officials in Chesapeake are organizing a vigil on Monday at 6 p.M. In City Park.
The city council leaders will also hold a special meeting on Monday, confirming an emergency declaration that “will free up funding to support recovery” after the shooting, according to the city’s Twitter account. They did not specify how the funding would be used.
Message discovered on perpetrator’s mobile device
Following the tragedy, authorities released information concerning writings found on the shooter’s mobile device on Friday. A workplace shooting occurred two days prior to Thanksgiving, resulting in a sudden outburst of gunfire. Authorities have been working to ascertain the motive behind the incident.
According to colleagues, the city’s Twitter account discovered writings titled “Death note” on the shooter’s phone, which contained grievances against some individuals in his life.
The author notes how he felt mocked by some of Walmart’s employees for using the job title “associates” and mentions the holy spirit of God.
The note states, “That’s why they suffer the same fate as me. On the last day, my associates celebrated my downfall and mocked me, giving me evil twisted grins.”
“I wish I could have saved everyone from myself,” the note continues. “My God forgive me for what I’m going to do.”.
The authorities stated that the edited names were not included in the individuals who were shot. The urban area made the memo public through a sequence of Twitter posts, censoring the identities of those who were referred to.
Walmart expressed in a statement, “There is no valid reason to justify the act of taking the lives of innocent people,” in response to a question regarding whether the shooter had expressed dissatisfaction with his coworkers. During this challenging period, our primary concern remains with the grieving families and providing support to our employees.
The municipality stated that the firearm employed to perpetrate the homicides is a 9 mm firearm, which the shooter lawfully acquired on the day of the incident.
The city stated in a tweet that a package of bullets and “different objects related to the 9 mm pistol (package, receipt, other documents)” were discovered while searching the assailant’s residence.
Recognized as 31-year-old Andre Bing, the culprit has been identified by coworkers as someone who displayed peculiar and threatening behavior in previous instances.
Shaundrayia Reese, who collaborated with Bing from 2015 to 2018, characterized him as a solitary individual.
Reese always believed that everyone thought he was in the wrong. He kept a black tape on his camera phone and didn’t like social media. He always claimed that the government was watching him.
Another ex-colleague, Joshua Johnson, was employed at Walmart until 2019 and mentioned that Bing had issued threats.
“He said if he ever got fired from his job he would retaliate and people would remember who he was,” Johnson said.
Reese and Johnson stated that they did not inform management about any worries regarding Bing’s conduct.
‘It doesn’t cease to replay when you depart the setting’
Just after Tyler and Briana had been hired at the store, including some employees, they hadn’t set a disturbing image in the room. However, when they clocked in for their overnight shift on Tuesday at Walmart, they saw the manager standing in the doorway, pointing a gun at them.
“I informed CNN that I was able to identify Tyler’s face because I believe that if we have an active shooter, we should know what to do. It felt like a simulation, as if I was thinking that it was not real. It hadn’t really sunk in yet.”
However, the situation became real when she witnessed her coworkers being shot.
“Tyler exclaimed, ‘The shooting persisted and he walked calmly throughout the store. Everyone was gaping and screaming. People were dropping to the floor as shots kept coming from all directions. He glanced around and his face displayed a blank stare.'”
She described seeing some potentially lifeless chairs lying on the floor where her coworkers were. Jessie Wilczewski, an employee, hid under a table in the break room as the shooter walked away. She shared this information with CNN.
According to Wilczewski, when the shooter returned to the break room, he directed her to vacate her concealed position under the table.
“He stated, ‘Jessie, return to your residence,'” stated Wilczewski, who is a mother to a 15-month-old infant.
She stated, “the noise of blood striking the ground troubles her” – however, she attempted to avoid gazing at her colleagues while rising and beginning to depart.
CNN was informed earlier this week, “The sound of the droplets, da-da-da-da, it continuously repeats and repeats and repeats.” “It was creating a pattern – indicating the amount of blood being shed from various chairs.” “I believe I will never forget that.” “And it was one of the most unsettling occurrences.”
Wilczewski mentioned that the distressing experiences she observed remained in her memory after she escaped.
Wilczewski stated, “I would never wish to live my life like anyone else, ever.” “It doesn’t stop replaying the scene when you leave. It doesn’t stop hurting as much. It sucks because you really want it to stop. You just want that little bit of what you had before all of this.”