CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A row of parking spaces near the Sam Circle Walmart continues to be the spot where the community is coming together to mourn those who lost their lives in a workplace mass shooting the day before Thanksgiving.
Two sets of six white crosses are surrounded by everything from seasonal poinsettias, to handmade bracelets and inspirational signs.
No one group came together to form what has become known as the memorial to the tragedy. Just the same, no one group has come forward to claim responsibility for its future.
However, the property owner has revealed it won’t remain there permanently.
The Keith Corporation, a Charlotte-based commercial real estate firm, actually owns the land the memorial currently sits on. While Walmart does own all its store and property, the memorial is actually sitting in front of the At Home store. At Home is Keith Corporation’s tenant.
Alexandra Wilson, a spokesperson for the Keith Corporation, said while the company is not looking to rush anyone away they will be looking “at options to remove the items next week.”
“We do not want to rush the grieving process,” Wilson said. “We want to give families time to come and retrieve items if they so wish.”
Wilson said the property manager has reached out to the City of Chesapeake for guidance on where the memorial items should go if not retrieved.
However so far, a spokesperson for Chesapeake said the city won’t be involved as the memorial is all on private property.
“I can tell you that I spoke with them (corporate Walmart PR) again today and they are working through what to do with the items that are currently at the on-site memorial,” Elizabeth Vaughn said. “I’m not sure when or if they’ll announce what they end up planning to do as far as a more permanent memorial but my understanding is that’s all still very much unknown at this time.”
City leaders also say any discussions about a city memorial have not happened yet.
It was just more than a week ago a Walmart employee shot and killed six and injured three others before turning the gun on himself.
In Virginia Beach, while a site has been recommended, a permanent memorial is still being planned for the 12 killed and four injured during a mass shooting at the municipal center on May 31, 2019.