Officials investigating the fatal shooting of six people at a Walmart in southern Virginia said that the gunman legally purchased a 9mm firearm hours before the incident and left a note with criticisms of co-workers on his phone.
Police in the city of Chesapeake issued a news release on Friday saying that they had conducted a forensic analysis of Walmart supervisor Andre Bing’s phone and found a file labelled “Death note”.
In the note, released by police, Bing said his co-workers had harassed and mocked him.
“I was harassed by idiots of low intelligence and a lack of wisdom … They laughed at me and said that I was like Jeffrey Dahmer,” read part of the note, posted on Twitter.
The rambling manifesto also said that Bing was “one of the most loving people in the world” and “wanted a wife” but didn't deserve one.
Police said Bing had several magazines on him and died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.
He was “dressed in civilian clothing and was not wearing any type of armour or a ballistic vest”, the police statement read.
In a statement, Walmart identified Bing as an overnight shift team leader who had been with the company since 2010. Co-workers told various media outlets that Bing was paranoid about the government, kept tape over the lens of his phone's camera and had made threats against various employees.
Joshua Johnson, who worked as a maintenance worker at the store until 2019, told CNN that Bing had previously issued ominous threats if he were to ever lose his job.
“He said if he ever got fired from his job, he would retaliate and people would remember who he was,” Mr Johnson said.
Another employee, Donya Prioleau, said he was “quite mean” and could be “condescending when he spoke to us”.
Police identified the victims as Brian Pendleton, 38; Kellie Pyle, 52; Lorenzo Gamble, 43; and Randy Blevins, 70, all of whom were from Chesapeake; and Tyneka Johnson, 22, of nearby Portsmouth.
Among the victims was a 16-year-old boy whose name was being withheld.
Located about 65km south-east of Washington, the store was busy before the attack on Tuesday night, with people stocking up ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, a shopper told a local TV station.
Police spokesman Leo Kosinski said officers responded “in an active shooter fashion at 10.15pm” local time. He said that in a period of 30 to 45 minutes, police found “multiple fatalities and multiple injured parties”, including the gunman.
Virginia was still reeling from a shooting last week in which three University of Virginia American football players were killed.
The US has now had 40 mass killings so far this year, second to the 45 that occurred for all of 2019.
A mass killing is defined as at least four people killed, not including the killer.
President Joe Biden described the shooting as “yet another horrific and senseless act of violence”.
“Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, one of our most cherished holidays that brings us together as Americans and as families, when we hug our loved ones and count our blessings,” Mr Biden said in a statement.
But because of the shooting, “there are now more families who know the worst kind of loss and pain imaginable”.