Virginia Walmart employee Blake Williams expected to die from wounds

A Walmart employee shot during the massacre in Virginia has been clinging to life in the hospital, a relative revealed on Wednesday.

Blake Williams, 23, was hooked up to a ventilator but his family is expected to take him off life support, his cousin, 24-year-old Shannon Cheetham, told The Post.

Williams, who takes night classes at Tidewater Community College, usually works the day shift.

The night of the shooting, however, he had traded shifts with another coworker, Cheetham said.

“He never made it home. He wasn’t even supposed to be here. Wrong place, wrong time,” she said.

Williams was studying to obtain his commercial driver’s license.

Cheetham said her aunt, who has been inconsolable since the killing, told her about the attack.

Shannon Cheetham, 24, told The Post her cousin Blake Williams will be taken off life support.
Cliff Owen – CNP

“I was at work and my aunt called me and I picked up the phone and her voice was cracking and she just hollered. Instantly I knew,” she said.

“I couldn’t even move for a good 30 minutes.” 

She remembered her cousin as an accomplished bass player.

“He was fun. He had a smile that lit up the room,” Cheetham said.

“He was outgoing. He was very humble for someone who had a lot going on. He was down to earth but extremely smart,” she said.

Blake Williams, a college student who was just 23-years-old would be the seventh person killed in the mass shooting.
Blake Williams, a college student who was just 23-years-old would be the seventh person killed in the mass shooting.
REUTERS

“Thanksgiving one of those holidays you around family and talk about life,” she continued. “Tomorrow is not going to be the same for a lot of people.”

Advertisement

The gunman, night manager Andre Bing, opened fire on his coworkers shortly before 10:15 p.m. on Tuesday night.

Three of the victims, including Bing, were found deceased in the break room of the store while one deceased victim was found toward the front of the store, cops said. Police confirmed that Bing died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Three other victims were transported to local hospitals for further treatment but succumbed to their injuries, cops said. 

Investigators have not yet determined a motive for the rampage. However, coworkers have described Bing as “hostile” and difficult to work with.

Cheetham told The Post that Bing grew up in the Crestwood neighborhood of Chesapeake. She said she would see him around growing up and later at the store.

“I used to see him at Walmart at night. He was nice, he would wave,” she said of the gunman.

Police are spotted outside of night manager Andre Bing's home following the shooting.
Police are spotted outside of night manager Andre Bing’s home following the shooting.
AP

“You would never have thought somebody like that would do something so extreme. Blake never spoke bad about the job or Andre.”

Advertisement

Police raided Bing’s home on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, The Chesapeake Police Department identified the fatal victims as 38-year-old Brian Pendleton of Chesapeake; 52-year-old Kellie Pyle of Chesapeake; 43-year-old Lorenzo Gamble of Chesapeake; 70-year-old Randy Belvins of Chesapeake; 22-year-old Tyneka Johnson of Portsmouth; and a 16-year-old boy of Chesapeake — whose name is being withheld due to his age, WAVY reported.

Investigators did not determine a motive for the killing — though, coworkers described Bing as "hostile" and difficult to work with.
Investigators did not determine a motive for the killing — though, coworkers described Bing as “hostile” and difficult to work with.
REUTERS

Cheetham said she was also acquaintances with Gamble, who she met at the Walmart and  said everyone called “Renzo.”

The two shared a mutual friend and had gone out for drinks with some friends at the local watering hole The Southern Flair Pub House.

“He got on the dance floor and we had a ball,” she said. “That was a good night for everybody.”

Advertisement