Walmart shooter purchased handgun legally the same day, authorities say

<span>Photograph: Jay Paul/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Jay Paul/Reuters

The gunman who killed six people on Tuesday at a Walmart store in Chesapeake, Virginia, purchased the handgun legally the same day, authorities said.

The 31-year-old suspect bought the 9mm handgun at a local store, according to police. He took it to the Walmart branch where he had worked since 2010 shortly before the store was due to close. Investigators have said he was carrying several magazines of ammunition, and killed himself with the weapon before authorities arrived.

In a note police said they retrieved from his phone and that was posted by the city of Chesapeake’s Twitter account, the suspect, identified as Andre Bing, said he had been ridiculed and harassed by co-workers and appealed to God for forgiveness for what he said was soon to take place.

Police said Bing had no criminal history. A search of his home for relevant material yielded only a box of ammunition and paperwork connected to his purchase of the gun.

After a string of mass shootings in which the gunman left clearly marked ideological motivations, the absence of an online manifesto had initially left authorities at a loss to explain motivation for this murder spree. Co-workers have described how Bing could be difficult and aggressive and would tape over the camera of his phone because he was concerned the government was tracking him, according to the Wall Street Journal.

On Wednesday police identified five of the victims: Lorenzo Gamble, Brian Pendleton, Kellie Pyle, Randall Blevins and Tyneka Johnson. The name of the sixth was withheld because he was a minor.

Two other people remain hospitalized, one in critical condition and the other reported as fair and improving, according to police. A candlelight vigil is planned by the city on Monday.