UPDATE: Police Contact Cellphone Provider Over Dilworth Walmart 911 Call
UPDATE: Dilworth’s Police have asked a cellphone provider for information on the person who called 911 reporting a man with a gun was inside Walmart.
Chief Ty Sharpe says the investigation has determined the call came from a phone inside the store or on the property.
It was not from a 701 or 218 area code.
Sharpe says Walmart continues to check surveillance video in the hopes of identifying a suspect.
The caller claimed two men were arguing in the paint aisle and one of them had a gun.
The store was evacuated for 15 minutes.
The man was never found.
DILWORTH, MINN. — It was a typical afternoon in Walmart when things took an unexpected turn.
“I was about ready to check out and I was wishing I wouldn’t have looked for that last item so that I could’ve gotten out sooner,” said customer Marcia Mustad.
A 911 caller said she saw two suspicious men, one of them waving a gun in the hardware section of the store, and it sent employees and customers into a frenzy.
“Well, it was all quiet until all of a sudden the clerks and employees started running and screaming that everyone was to exit the building,” said Marcia.
Shoppers say there was one thing on their minds.
“El Paso. And you’re thinking of copycat crimes and things like that, so you start to worry about that type of thing,” said Marcia.
About 200 people were evacuated from the store and into the parking lot.
Officers looked through every department, aisle and corner.
After about 15 minutes, they gave the all-clear and shoppers and employees went back inside.
“Lots of shoppers, busy afternoon. Either way we’re gonna evacuate the store and go in. But in light of recent events, we’re gonna take our actions a little more seriously. So, everyone went in with longer guns and made sure we all had our body armor on and all that kind of stuff,” said Dilworth Police Chief Ty Sharpe.
Investigators reviewed Walmart’s video surveillance and say they haven’t found anyone who matches the description the 911 caller gave: a Hispanic man in a white t-shirt and blue jeans.
Now, the investigation has turned to the woman who made the call.
“And at the end of the day, if it ends up being that this lady thought she saw someone with a gun, then great for calling it in. If it ends up being that it was a prank, then we’ll prosecute her as much as we can,” Sharpe explained.
Police now have subpoenas for the history of the cell phone belonging to the woman who called in.
They say the next step is to look into finding out who she is and why she’s no longer picking up the phone.
Police say Walmart employees handled the incident well by evacuating everyone in an orderly way. Nobody was hurt.