CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Six families are forever changed following the mass shooting at a Chesapeake Walmart last Tuesday.
Chesapeake police report about 50 people were inside of the store when a disgruntled 31-year-old employee started shooting. A growing tribute now honors the victims outside of the Sam’s Circle location.
Walmart’s President and CEO John Furner sent a memo to all U.S. associates one week after the tragedy, that provided information about the shooting victims and details on steps taken by the company.
Brian Pendleton, 38 years old
Brian Pendleton was an Oscar Smith High School grad. His friends and family wrote, “Brother, I love you 4 life” on his cross outside of Walmart.
Walmart said he was a custodian who was with the company for 10 years. Brian “always arrived early to his shifts and loved to joke with his fellow associates.”
Kellie Pyle, 52 years old
Kellie was an overnight team associate, Walmart confirmed. She leaves behind two children, a granddaughter and a fiancé. She had recently moved to Hampton Roads with plans to get married.
Kellie Pyle’s son Kevin wrote a touching tribute on Facebook:
“A mother, a grandmother, a best friend, a partner, a sister, a daughter, and a friend to everyone she met. Beautiful, elegant, courageous, sincere, passionate, diligent, generous, strong, joyful, and enthusiastic, are just a few of many words I can use to describe who my mother was. My mother was the personification of goodwill and selflessness.”
He added she was the most important person in his life. Her cross describes a “wonderful smile … now smiling in God’s presence.”
Lorenzo Gamble, 43 years old
Friends of Lorenzo Gamble said, “I’ll miss your smile.” His loved ones wrote “love you, baby brother.”
Lorenzo worked as a Walmart custodian for 15 years. The company wrote that his greatest joys were football and spending time with his two sons.
Randy Blevins, 70 years old
Randy Blevins was a longtime Walmart employee. The company said Randy “was a 29-year overnight stock associate who never missed a day of work. He leaves behind his best friend Teresa and three stepdaughters. “
He’s been described as “a joy to be around” and his “cool laid-back personality” will be missed.
Denise Black Brzenk posted on social media a sweet memory with Randy when she started her career at the same Walmart, 20 years ago.
Tyneka Johnson, 22 years old
Tyneka Johnson was an overnight associate at Walmart. The company said she loved music, dancing and had dreams to attend college soon.
Tyneka’s family and friends are heartbroken. They write “loved one… loved by more now.”
LaTonya Snow is now volunteering to take her family meals during this tragic time. “Just offering them love. I want them to know that we care,” Snow said.
Fernando Chavez-Barron, 16 years old
The youngest victim was an Oscar Smith High School junior and honors student. His family created a GoFundMe. He is described as “an outstanding son and excellent big brother.”
Walmart confirmed he was a front end associate who had just started working at the Chesapeake location to help out his family.
Four other associates were injured that night. Two remain in the hospital and two have been released.
A GoFundMe page identifies one of the injured as Sarah Walker. Her stepfather set up the account to help with medical expenses. He says she has three children and is their sole provider.
United Way of South Hampton Roads has launched the Hope & Healing Fund to help raise money for the families. To make a donation to the Hope & Healing Fund, visit unitedwayshr.org/chesapeake or text CHESAPEAKE to 41444.