Coworkers Say Walmart Shooter Showed Suspicious Behavior Long Before Deadly Mass Shooting

A Chesapeake Walmart overnight manager killed six co-workers, then himself after months of grumpy and negative behavior. One of the survivors shared that the shooter appeared to not be aiming at anyone in particular.

The overnight manager who caused the mass death had grown sullen and negative, former employees recalled. Other co-workers had complained to Walmart about his verbal harassment

However, nothing had been done. Now, coworkers have been coming forward with stories of suspicious behavior that served as warning signs prior to the mass shooting.

According to safety and legal experts, organizations must confront and support employees who show signs of trouble, and develop an active shooter plan. But having a plan isn’t enough; you have to practice it before and after shootouts.

Hampton Roads security and legal experts say developing an active shooter plan is not enough to stop workplace violence. They say employees need to practice the plan and improve it before and after shootings.

Employers have been urged to approach problematic employees from a place of compassion, provide resources to those exhibiting signs of trouble, and implement threat assessment teams with a variety of specialists.

Walmart launched a computer-based active shooter training in 2015. The company made more changes after a gunman killed 23 people in 2019, including stopping selling certain types of ammunition. However, the recent incident proves that more preventative changes have yet to be made.

Organizations can run background checks on prospective employees before hiring them, which can sometimes reveal potential issues. If necessary, they may need to place employees on a leave of absence while investigating potential misconduct.

A recent federal government report found that workplace homicides have risen in recent years, but remain sharply down from a peak in the mid-1990s. The report found that workplace homicide trends largely mirrored homicide trends nationwide.