Virginia lawmaker vows to push for change after Walmart shooting

Memorial outside Chesapeake, Virginia Walmart
Posted at 7:57 AM, Nov 25, 2022

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — On Thanksgiving Day, many gathered around a makeshift memorial outside the Chesapeake, Virginia, Walmart to honor the six victims who died in a mass shooting earlier in the week.

In fact, WTKR learned a nearby food pantry brought Thanksgiving meals to those at the memorial.

Some lawmakers took time away from their holidays to talk to News 3 and address the community.

Democratic State Senator L. Louise Lucas, who serves Virginia's 18th Senate District, which includes Portsmouth, got a bit emotional as she described the overwhelming response while she was shopping for some last-minute Thanksgiving items while she was out Wednesday.

“Everybody who approached me, the first thing out of their mouth was, ‘Mass shootings have to come to an end,’” Lucas said.

On Thanksgiving Day, President Biden met with first responders in Kentucky and vowed to make a renewed effort to ban assault weapons.

“Access to firearms, period, is just too easy," Lucas said. "And that is the problem because not all people that die in mass shootings die by these long guns. They are often a pistol or a handgun."

Lucas said nothing had been filed, but she intends to file something personally.

Chesapeake is home to Democratic Delegate Cliff Hayes, who stopped by the mass shooting scene.

"One lady literally hid under the table, watching what was happening," he said. “How do you bounce back from that? And so, we have to make sure we are dealing with this in a comprehensive way. We won’t allow despair to have the last word.”

Meanwhile, investigators are trying to answer the many questions that linger.

Sen. Lucas told News 3 Walmart executives reached out to her about beefing up their vetting process as well as their local resource center for associates.

There are resources available for anyone who needs mental health assistance.

Angela Bohon at WTKR first reported this story.