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After Walmart Case, VA Gov Sees Mass Deaths as Mental Health Crisis

Hundreds gathered Monday in Virginia’s second-largest city to honor six people killed in a mass shooting at a Walmart, with the state’s governor pledging to confront a “mental health and a behavioral health crisis.” Chesapeake’s candlelight vigil paid tribute to a diverse group of third-shift workers, ages 16 to 70, who unloaded trucks, broke down cardboard boxes and stocked shelves in the sprawling but tight-knit community near the coast. The employees were slain last Tuesday night by a supervisor, who died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Several others were wounded, the Associated Press reports. The shooter left behind a note that claimed he was harassed and pushed to the brink by a perception his phone was hacked, police said. The handgun that was used was legally purchased that morning, and he had no criminal record.

“I’m not alone in concluding that we have a mental health and a behavioral health crisis in the United States and in Virginia,” Gov. Glenn Youngkin said in a city park. “A crisis that shows up in all facets of our society, in our homes, in our schools, in our workplace.” The Republican governor said he will work across party lines “to chart a path forward.” Earlier Monday, the City Council held a brief special meeting to approve a resolution that will help free up funding for the response to and recovery from the shooting. Walmart has 4,700 stores across the U.S. and employs about 1.7 million people. Yet each store can be unique, said sociologist Adam Reich of Columbia University, who co-wrote the book, “Working for Respect, Community and Conflict at Walmart.”


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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