CHESPICK, Virginia — The Walmart boss who shot six employees in Virginia left what he called a “suicide note” on his phone, apologizing for what he was about to do while accusing others of making fun of him.
“Sorry everyone but I didn’t plan this, I promise everything fell into place as if I was being led by Satan,” Andre Bing wrote in a note left on his phone, Chesapeake police said Friday.
Police also stated that the 9mm pistol was legally purchased on the morning of the shooting and that Bing had no criminal record.
The note has been slightly edited to remove the names of the specific people he mentioned.
He claimed to have been “chased by idiots with low intelligence and lack of wisdom” and said he was driven to the edge by having his phone hacked.
He wrote, “My only desire was to start over from scratch and have my parents pay more attention to my social deficit.” Byng died at the scene, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Bing’s colleagues who survived the shooting said he was difficult and known for his hostility towards employees. One survivor said that Byng seemed to be targeting people and shooting at some of the victims after they were already wounded.
Jessica Wilczewski said workers had gathered in the store’s break room to start their night shift late Tuesday evening when Byng, the team leader, entered and opened fire. While another witness described Bing as a wild shooter, Wilczewski said she saw him take aim at certain people.
“The way he acted – he was going out hunting,” Wilczewski told The Associated Press on Thursday.
She said she saw him shoot people who were already on the ground.
“What I know for sure is that he made sure whoever he wanted to kill was dead,” she said. “He came back and shot dead bodies that were already dead. To make sure.”
Wilczewski said she had only worked at the store for five days and didn’t know who Bing got along with or had problems with. She said that being a new employee may have been the reason she was spared.
She said that after the shooting started, a colleague sitting next to her dragged her under a table to hide. She said that at one point, Bing told her to get out from under the table. But when he saw who she was, he told her, “Jesse, go home.” She said she got up slowly and then ran out of the store.
Former colleagues and residents of Chesapeake, a city of about 250,000 people off the coast of Virginia, have struggled to make sense of the rampage.
Bing’s suicide note is sometimes 11 paragraphs long with references to unconventional cancer treatments and songwriting. He pales in comparison to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, saying, “I would never kill anyone who came into my house.”
And he longs for a wife, but says he didn’t deserve her.
“In fact, I was one of the most loving people in the world, if you would recognize me,” he wrote.
Some who have worked with the 31-year-old Bing said he had a reputation for being an aggressive, if not hostile, boss who once admitted to having “anger issues.” But he could also make people laugh and seemed to handle the typical work stresses many people face.
“I don’t think he had a lot of people to lean on in his personal life,” said Nathan Sinclair, who worked at Walmart for almost a year before leaving earlier this month.
During conversations between co-workers: “We would say, ‘Work is taking over my life.’ And (Bing) would say, “Yeah, I don’t have a social life anyway,” Sinclair recalled on Thursday.
Sinclair said that he and Bing didn’t get along. According to Sinclair, Bing was known for its “verbal hostility” towards employees and was not particularly popular. But there were times when Bing was ridiculed and not necessarily treated fairly.
Police identified the victims: Brian Pendleton, 38; Kelly Pyle, 52; Lorenzo Gamble, 43; and Randy Blevins, 70, all from Chesapeake; and Tyneka Johnson, 22, from nearby Portsmouth. A 16-year-old boy, whose name has not been released due to his age, was also among the dead, police said.
A Walmart spokesperson confirmed in an email that all of the victims worked for the company.
The other two injured remain in the hospital, police said on Friday. One of them is still in critical condition and the other one is in fair condition.
Another Walmart employee, Briana Tyler, said that Bing works at random.
“He just shot all over the room. It doesn’t matter who he hit,” Tyler told AP on Wednesday.
Six people were also injured in the shooting, which occurred just after 10:00 p.m. while shoppers were shopping ahead of Thanksgiving. Police said they estimated there were about 50 people in the store at the time.
Bing has been identified as a night team leader who has been a Walmart employee since 2010. Police said he had one pistol and several magazines full of ammunition.
Tyler said the night sock group of 15-20 had just gathered in the break room to discuss the morning’s plan. According to Tyler and Wiczewski, another team leader started talking when Byng entered the room and opened fire.
Tyler, who started at Walmart two months ago and worked with Bing the day before, said she never had any negative encounters with him but was told by others that he was “a manager to look out for.” She said Bing had a history of writing letters for no reason.
The attack was the second major shooting in Virginia this month. Three University of Virginia football players were fatally shot on a bus on November 13 as they were returning from a field trip. Two more students were injured.
The Walmart shooting also came days after a man opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, killing five people and injuring 17. Tuesday night’s shooting was reminiscent of another Walmart attack in 2019, in which a gunman killed 23 people at the store. in El Paso, Texas.
Wilczewski, who survived Tuesday’s shooting in Virginia, said she tried but couldn’t bring herself to visit the memorial in the store’s parking lot on Wednesday.
“I wrote a letter and wanted to publish it,” she said. “I wrote to those in whose eyes they die. And I said I wish I was louder. I’m sorry you didn’t feel my touch. But you weren’t alone.
This was reported by Barakat from Falls Church, Virginia. Associated Press contributors Denise Lavoie of Chesapeake and news researchers Rhonda Shafner and Randy Hershaft of New York contributed to this report.