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Several people have died and others injured after a Walmart manager allegedly opened fire at a store in Virginia, witnesses have said.

It happened in the city of Chesapeake, with police called shortly after 10pm local time, spokesman officer Leo Kosinski said.

“Chesapeake Police confirm an active shooter incident with fatalities at the Walmart on Sam’s Circle. The shooter is deceased,” the City of Chesapeake tweeted.

Virginia police respond to the scene of the fatal shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake. Pic: WAVY-TV 10 via AP
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Pic: WAVY-TV 10 via AP

A witness in a Walmart uniform, called Kevin Harper, claimed he left a staffroom which the suspect, who he said was a manager at the store, then entered and opened fire.

“It was wild. It was a manager – one of the managers,” he said in a Facebook Live from the scene.

“Sadly, though, we lost a few of our associates, I don’t know how many.”

One woman told WAVY-TV that her brother, a 20-year-old employee, was shot just 10 minutes after arriving at work.

More on Virginia

The number of people killed was not clear, but Mr Kosinski said “less than 10, right now” were dead.

Senator Louise Lucas tweeted: “I am absolutely heartbroken that America’s latest mass shooting took place in a Walmart in my district in Chesapeake, Virginia tonight.

“I will not rest until we find the solutions to end this gun violence epidemic in our country that has taken so many lives.”

A number of people were also injured and Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, in the nearby city of Norfolk, was reported to be treating five victims.

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Several dead at Walmart shooting

Mr Kosinski said police believe the shooting happened inside the store but one person was found dead outside the building.

It is not known if the shooter died of self-inflicted injuries.

Mr Kosinski added that no shots were fired by police “to his knowledge”.

He added that the store was very large and that there were lots of places for people to hide from a shooter.

Read more:
There are mass shootings elsewhere – but America’s problem with guns stands alone

The City of Chesapeake Twitter account tweeted: “A family reunification site is set up at the Chesapeake Conference Center (700 Conference Center Drive). This site is only for immediate family members or the emergency contact of those who may have been in the building.”

Senator Mark Warner tweeted: “Sickened by reports of yet another mass shooting, this time at a Walmart in Chesapeake. I’ll be monitoring developments closely.”

Walmart Inc said it was “shocked” at the events in its store.

The company tweeted: “We are shocked at this tragic event at our Chesapeake, Virginia store. We’re praying for those impacted, the community and our associates. We’re working closely with law enforcement, and we are focused on supporting our associates.”

The Walmart in Chesapeake is a ‘supercenter’, which means it sells groceries and other products. There are more than 3,500 Walmart supercenters in the US.

The Virginia shooting comes three days after a person opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado, killing five people and wounding 17.

The alleged attacker, who is nonbinary, was arrested after patrons at the club tackled and beat them.

There have been 607 mass shootings, defined as involving four or more victims, in America this year.

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Brittney Griner arrives back in US after prisoner swap with Russian ‘Merchant of Death’ Viktor Bout

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Brittney Griner arrives back in US after prisoner swap with Russian 'Merchant of Death' Viktor Bout

US basketball star Brittney Griner has arrived back in America after being freed in a prisoner swap with convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, known as the “Merchant of Death”.

The 32-year-old WNBA star was flown to San Antonio, Texas.

US special presidential envoy, Roger D. Carstens, said: “So happy to have Brittney back on US soil. Welcome home BG!”

Ms Griner was detained in February when customs agents said they found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.

She had pleaded guilty at her trial saying she used the cartridges to relieve pain from sports injuries and had made an “honest mistake”.

Nevertheless, a Russian court sentenced her to nine years in prison in August.

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Griner’s wife: ‘Family is whole today’

US President Joe Biden said Ms Griner had been held under “intolerable circumstances” and been through a “terrible ordeal”.

More on Brittney Griner

Ms Griner “represents the best of America”, he added.

President Biden insisted the US has not forgotten about Paul Whelan, a former US marine who remains in Russian custody.

A senior US official said the administration tried everything they could to get Mr Whelan out, but “they are treating him differently. They say he is an espionage case. They said the choice was either one [Griner] or none”.

He did not refer to the price the US paid for Ms Griner’s liberty – the release of convicted arms dealer Bout.

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Joe Biden says Brittney Griner ‘lost months of her life’

Bout could land public role now he’s home and dry

Victor Bout has been top of the list of citizens Russia wants back for quite some time. He was jailed in 2012 for 25 years on arms dealing charges after two decades spent selling Soviet-era weaponry to rebels, warlords and dictators.

The Taliban, al Qaeda and Charles Taylor’s regime in Liberia were all reportedly on his client roster.

His life was immortalised in the 2005 Hollywood film Lord of War, starring Nicolas Cage. Russia has always declared him innocent and that the case against him was fabricated.

Selling arms at that level tends not to happen without some kind of relationship with Russian security services, which may also be why Russia was so keen to get him home.

“Bout’s personality was demonised,” Russian lawmaker Maria Butina told me back in August after the US secretary of state said it was ready to strike a deal to get Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan back. “I believe he’s like an evil Russian for the Americans, a bogeyman,” she said.

Butina herself spent 15 months in US detention after she was convicted of acting as an unregistered foreign agent. Now she has a seat in the parliament.

Russia has a tendency to give public positions to people wanted by the West. Don’t be surprised if Bout finds himself with a similar role now he’s finally made it home.

Ms Griner’s wife Cherelle said she was “overwhelmed with emotions” after going through “one of the darkest moments of my life”.

“So today my family is whole, but as you all are aware, there’s so many other families who are not whole.”

The Griner-Bout swap took place at Abu Dhabi airport, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

“The Russian citizen has been returned to his homeland,” it said in a statement.

Pressure on Washington over Griner case

For almost two decades, Bout was one of the world’s most notorious arms dealers, selling weaponry to rogue states, rebel groups and murderous warlords in Africa, Asia, and South America.

Ever since his capture in an elaborate US sting, the Russian state has been keen to bring him back.

President Biden’s agreement to release Bout highlights the escalating pressure that his administration has faced to bring Ms Griner home, particularly after the recent conclusion of her criminal case and her subsequent transfer to a penal colony.

Ms Griner’s detention was widely condemned by campaigners, including former NBA star Dennis Rodman, who said he was planning to fly to Russia in a bid to free the US basketball player.

The Texan-born athlete revealed her fears that she could be in prison “forever” in a letter to President Biden on US Independence Day.

She wrote: “As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I’m terrified I might be here forever.

“On the 4 July, our family normally honours the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father who is a Vietnam War veteran.

“It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year.”

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Brittney Griner arrives back in US after prisoner swap with Russian ‘Merchant of Death’ Viktor Bout

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on

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Brittney Griner arrives back in US after prisoner swap with Russian 'Merchant of Death' Viktor Bout

US basketball star Brittney Griner has arrived back in America after being freed in a prisoner swap with convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, known as the “Merchant of Death”.

The 32-year-old WNBA star was flown to San Antonio, Texas.

US special presidential envoy, Roger D. Carstens, said: “So happy to have Brittney back on US soil. Welcome home BG!”

Ms Griner was detained in February when customs agents said they found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.

She had pleaded guilty at her trial saying she used the cartridges to relieve pain from sports injuries and had made an “honest mistake”.

Nevertheless, a Russian court sentenced her to nine years in prison in August.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Griner’s wife: ‘Family is whole today’

US President Joe Biden said Ms Griner had been held under “intolerable circumstances” and been through a “terrible ordeal”.

More on Brittney Griner

Ms Griner “represents the best of America”, he added.

President Biden insisted the US has not forgotten about Paul Whelan, a former US marine who remains in Russian custody.

A senior US official said the administration tried everything they could to get Mr Whelan out, but “they are treating him differently. They say he is an espionage case. They said the choice was either one [Griner] or none”.

He did not refer to the price the US paid for Ms Griner’s liberty – the release of convicted arms dealer Bout.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Joe Biden says Brittney Griner ‘lost months of her life’

Bout could land public role now he’s home and dry

Victor Bout has been top of the list of citizens Russia wants back for quite some time. He was jailed in 2012 for 25 years on arms dealing charges after two decades spent selling Soviet-era weaponry to rebels, warlords and dictators.

The Taliban, al Qaeda and Charles Taylor’s regime in Liberia were all reportedly on his client roster.

His life was immortalised in the 2005 Hollywood film Lord of War, starring Nicolas Cage. Russia has always declared him innocent and that the case against him was fabricated.

Selling arms at that level tends not to happen without some kind of relationship with Russian security services, which may also be why Russia was so keen to get him home.

“Bout’s personality was demonised,” Russian lawmaker Maria Butina told me back in August after the US secretary of state said it was ready to strike a deal to get Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan back. “I believe he’s like an evil Russian for the Americans, a bogeyman,” she said.

Butina herself spent 15 months in US detention after she was convicted of acting as an unregistered foreign agent. Now she has a seat in the parliament.

Russia has a tendency to give public positions to people wanted by the West. Don’t be surprised if Bout finds himself with a similar role now he’s finally made it home.

Ms Griner’s wife Cherelle said she was “overwhelmed with emotions” after going through “one of the darkest moments of my life”.

“So today my family is whole, but as you all are aware, there’s so many other families who are not whole.”

The Griner-Bout swap took place at Abu Dhabi airport, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

“The Russian citizen has been returned to his homeland,” it said in a statement.

Pressure on Washington over Griner case

For almost two decades, Bout was one of the world’s most notorious arms dealers, selling weaponry to rogue states, rebel groups and murderous warlords in Africa, Asia, and South America.

Ever since his capture in an elaborate US sting, the Russian state has been keen to bring him back.

President Biden’s agreement to release Bout highlights the escalating pressure that his administration has faced to bring Ms Griner home, particularly after the recent conclusion of her criminal case and her subsequent transfer to a penal colony.

Ms Griner’s detention was widely condemned by campaigners, including former NBA star Dennis Rodman, who said he was planning to fly to Russia in a bid to free the US basketball player.

The Texan-born athlete revealed her fears that she could be in prison “forever” in a letter to President Biden on US Independence Day.

She wrote: “As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I’m terrified I might be here forever.

“On the 4 July, our family normally honours the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father who is a Vietnam War veteran.

“It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year.”

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US

Justice Department demands Donald Trump’s office be held in contempt over classified document subpoena, reports say

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Justice Department demands Donald Trump's office be held in contempt over classified document subpoena, reports say

The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to hold Donald Trump’s office in contempt of court for failing to fully comply with a subpoena to return all classified documents in his possession, it has been reported.

One of the key areas of disagreement centres on the Trump legal team’s repeated refusal to acknowledge that all materials have been returned to the federal government, the report in Thursday’s Washington Post added.

District court Judge Beryl Howell has not yet held a hearing or ruled on the request, according to the newspaper.

The former president and his team say that the request is unreasonable, while the Justice Department declined to comment on the report.

A Trump spokesman told Reuters that the former president’s lawyers “continue to cooperate and be transparent” while describing the probe as “a political witch hunt”.

On Wednesday, an appeal court judged to end the use of a third-party special master to review records in the investigation, a move that allows the Justice Department to access about 13,000 records seized by the FBI at Mr Trump’s Florida estate for its ongoing criminal probe.

“President Trump will continue to fight against weaponisation of law enforcement and pursue appropriate legal avenues to obtain the items that were brazenly and illegally seized from his home during the Biden regime’s unconstitutional raid,” Mr Trump’s spokesman added.

More on Donald Trump

The Justice Department is investigating whether the former president broke the law by retaining government records, some marked as top secret, after leaving office in January 2021.

Mr Trump, who last month announced a third run for the presidency in 2024, is facing multiple legal troubles. His efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election continue to be investigated.

He also faces a state probe over a push to reverse his election loss in Georgia, where this week a candidate that Mr Trump had heavily backed failed to win a senate seat for the Republicans, handing President Joe Biden a political victory.

Earlier this week, his real estate company was found guilty of running a criminal scheme to defraud tax authorities over the last 15 years, although Mr Trump was not personally charged in the case.

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