16-year-old victim of Chesapeake Walmart shooting is identified: ‘Such a nice kid’

Hundreds of people gathered in a vigil to pay tribute to a 16-year-old victim of the Walmart shooting at Chesapeake, Virginia, who was identified by authorities.

Fernando Chavez Jr, known to family and friends as Fernando Jesus Chavez was killed on Tuesday, along with five other victims.

A crowd gathered at the Sam’s Circle Walmart on Thursday to pay tribute to the teenager who family and friends described as “humble and intelligent”.

“Fernando was such a nice kid, he would say hi to anybody,” said Joshua Trejo, 17, a friend since middle school. He added that he and Fernando were looking forward to working together at a new job, reported the Virginian Pilot newspaper.

He was quoted as saying that he had texted Chavez several times before he heard from his friend’s brother that he had been killed.

Another friend of the teenager, 17-year-old Kayla Pineda, said that when she heard of his death, “it just sunk in, and I started crying”.

“I’m just thinking back about all the memories and how he’s actually gone now,” she said. “It just doesn’t make sense to me.”

Debbie (left) and Chet Barnett place flowers at a memorial outside of the Chesapeake Walmart on 24 November (AP)
Debbie (left) and Chet Barnett place flowers at a memorial outside of the Chesapeake Walmart on 24 November (AP)

“I think I’m still in shock,” Kayla said. “I guess I just don’t want him to really have left us.”

On Tuesday, police responded to a 911 call about a shooting at the store at 10.12pm.

The first officers arrived on the scene two minutes later at 10.14pm and entered the store two minutes after that at around 10.16pm.

Officers found the suspect already dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and declared the scene safe, Chesapeake police chief Mark Solesky said at a press conference on Wednesday morning.

Several victims were found on the scene, with six killed in the attack and several more rushed to hospital with injuries.

“The alleged shooter has been identified as Andre Bing. We can confirm that he was a Walmart associate,” read a statement from Walmart to The Independent. “Andre’s position with the company was overnight team lead and he’s been employed with us since 2010.”

At a press conference hours earlier, authorities confirmed that the gunman was a disgruntled male store employee.