‘Nothing can replace these beautiful lives’: Walmart CEO responds to deadly Chesapeake shooting

The CEO said the store will be closed for the foreseeable future

A woman ties balloons to a cross in a makeshift memorial in the parking lot of a Walmart in Chesapeake, Va., Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, for the six people killed at this Walmart when a manager opened fire with a handgun before an employee meeting last week. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (Carolyn Kaster, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Walmart CEO, John Furner, has released a company-wide memo, offering messages of healing after a deadly Chesapeake Walmart shooting.

This comes after a disgruntled employee shot and killed six of his colleagues a little over a week ago in the store’s breakroom, shattering hearts throughout the Commonwealth.

The victims have been identified as Lorenzo Gamble, Brian Pendleton, Kellie Pyle, Randall Blevins, Tyneka Johnson and Fernando “Jesus” Chavez-Barron.

“The entire Walmart family continues to feel heartbreak over last week’s tragic event at Store #1841,” said Furner. “As we shared, a Walmart associate opened fire last Tuesday night, in the store’s breakroom. Sadly, this resulted in the deaths of six amazing, irreplaceable members of our family.”

This combination of photos provided by the Chesapeake, Va., Police Department shows top row from left, Randy Blevins, Fernando Chavez-Barron, Lorenzo Gamble, and bottom row from left, Tyneka Johnson, Brian Pendleton and Kellie Pyle, who Chesapeake police identified as six victims of a shooting that occurred Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, at a Walmart store in Chesapeake. (Chesapeake Police Department via AP)

In the statement, Furner explained how the company will continue to honor their memory and support the families affected by such a tragic loss. He said the Walmart Foundation will contribute $1 million to the United Way of South Hampton Roads’ Hope & Healing Fund. The fund offers support to those affected by the shooting as well as the Chesapeake community.

He also made note of free confidential mental health support resources, which can be found here.

“Nothing can replace these beautiful lives, or heal the scars their loved ones have now suffered. Hundreds of associates, leaders, and community members attended vigils in their honor the past two nights. As we grieve, we’re supporting these families with funeral, travel and other expenses. And we have a physical site set up where associates can meet, connect and speak to counselors.”

Furner said the store will be closed for the foreseeable future, but all employees will continue being paid.

See the full note Walmart CEO John Furner sent to his employees below:


About the Author:

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.