CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A Walmart employee who survived Tuesday night’s deadly shooting by hiding under a table said the gunman was a ‘team lead’ who had a reputation for being particular.
“I’m not going say everybody had a problem with him, but he was the manager to look out for. He would just be nitpicky about stuff. He would get on your case sometimes, like ‘Why aren’t you doing this fast enough?’ He was one of the managers who was picky. He was definitely quiet,” said the employee, who wishes to remain anonymous.
In an 11-paragraph note left behind on his phone, the shooter said he felt “tormented” by his colleagues. “I was harassed by idiots with low intelligence and a lack of wisdom,” he wrote.
The note went on to say: “I was just as guilty. I failed my management team and everyone that ever loved me by convincing them that I was normal.”
While the chilling words written by the 31-year-old are helping to paint a picture of his mindset before the tragic shooting, the survivor we spoke with said the words do not provide him with any peace.
“It still doesn’t feel real. I keep replaying the gunshots,” he said. “In that moment, you don’t know how you’re going to survive. You don’t even know — Walmart is huge. You don’t know where he is at, you just hope you don’t run into him.”
When asked if the shooter did face the bullying that was described in the note, the survivor told us he never witnessed that.
“When he like, kept nitpicking about things, of course, it was getting on the associates’ nerves and stuff like that,” he explained. “It’s like, ‘Oh, here comes this dude again.’ But other than that, I mean, it’s work. You’re not going to like everybody. It was just normal.”
A woman who worked on the same night shift as the shooter for more than a year tells 10 On Your Side that the suspect had been having a hard time with a new manager.
“He really was not liking working under this guy,” the woman said, noting that the shooter had recently called out of work two days in a row, which was unlike him.
“He really just fell off his performance,” she said.
But she never expected him to get violent and said that the shooter was timid and quiet.
“He was not someone who would yell and scream back at you if you yelled and screamed at him,” she explained. “It would be like, if you yelled at [him] and y’all had a disagreement, he would just avoid you. He literally wouldn’t make eye contact.”
Police said the shooter legally purchased a 9mm handgun the day of the shooting.