Authorities have identified the youngest victim of Tuesday’s mass shooting at a Chesapeake Walmart.
Fernando Chavez-Barron, 16, was shot and killed along with five of his coworkers by suspected gunman Andre Bing, a night shift team leader. The Chesapeake Police Department identified the juvenile victim in a social media post on Friday.
Following a vigil last night honoring the victims of the Walmart shooting, Chesapeake Police are releasing the name of the juvenile victim. It is with great sadness that we confirm 16-year-old Fernando Chavez-Barron of Chesapeake was the juvenile victim in this tragedy. pic.twitter.com/l90Y1GPPe7
— City of Chesapeake (@AboutChesapeake) November 25, 2022
Loved ones told WTKR that Chavez-Barron had only recently started working at Walmart. He reportedly used money from his first paycheck to buy his mother a gift.
Joshua Trejo-Alvarado, a friend of Chavez-Barron, described him as friendly and said he was “outgoing with anybody met.” He expressed his disbelief over the loss of his friend.
“I’m out of words and speechless that it was him,” Trejo-Alvarado said. “I was hoping everything was a dream until today. I wish he was still standing here with me. I prayed yesterday night with my whole family for him. We got flowers and candles at home for him too.”
Trejo-Alvarado said he texted and called Chavez-Brown, and when he didn’t get a response, he reached out to the victim’s brother.
“I called him in school, risking my phone being taken. I texted him, and he didn’t respond,” he told the outlet. “That’s when I texted his brother and asked him if Fernando was good. He was like no, he didn’t make it.”
The five other victims have been identified as Kellie Pyle, 52, Randy Blevins, 70, Tyneka Johnson, 22, Lorenzo Gamble, 43, and Brian Pendleton, 38. According to the city, two people were still hospitalized, one in critical condition.
A makeshift memorial has been set up outside the Walmart location to honor the victims, with the city planning a vigil on Monday. City council leaders plan to hold a special meeting on Monday in an effort to provide funding “to support recovery.” It’s unclear what that support might look like at this time.