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Police: Shots fired at Wal-Mart during Craigslist swap robbery

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A Craigslist swap at a Minnesota Wal-Mart turned into an attempted robbery, with a report of shots fired and the store being placed on lockdown, according to police.

The Shakopee Police Department said in a news release the Wal-Mart at 8101 Carriage Court in Shakopee was placed on lockdown around 6:40 p.m. Tuesday because of the incident.

Shakopee Police Chief Jeff Tate told BringMeTheNews the suspects and the victim met in the vestibule area initially, with the victim selling a cellphone. They went out into the parking lot where a male suspect took the phone and began running away through the lot.

The victim chased after him – but the suspect turned around, pulled out a black revolver and pointed it at the victim, Tate said.

At that point the victim retreated, then pulled out his own firearm (which he was licensed to carry) and fired at the suspects.

The two suspects fled in a vehicle – a grey or silver Chevrolet Venture, which police are now looking for.

The store was on lockdown for 10-20 minutes, according to police and a Wal-Mart spokesperson.

Nobody was injured. It's still under investigation, and anyone with information or who witnessed what happened is asked to call the police at 952-233-9400.

Safe spaces for online trades

At the end of its Facebook post, the Shakopee Police Department notes it is a designated Craigslist transaction location – and has been for years, Tate said.

"This is exactly why we have the program, for this very reason," he told BringMeTheNews. "There's no reason to meet in a parking lot of any store."

Often times, public places like parking lots are used for Craigslist trades.

Aaron Mullins, a spokesperson with Wal-Mart, told BringMeTheNews Wal-Mart has a solicitation policy for any transaction, including those proposed online: "Basically, anything that's going to be bought or sold on property, you need to have permission from management first," he said.

Tate said Shakopee PD's swap spot is used frequently – it's located in the parking lot, in an area that's under direct surveillance from a camera.

He said Tuesday's incident is a "perfect example" of why they and other law enforcement offices have such programs, and want to keep getting the word out about them.

Swap spots have been popping up in recent years, as a protected space for people who connected online to buy or sell things, the Better Business Bureau says.

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office launched some last summer, where a deputy can be present if requested. Otherwise they're just in the lobby of the three sheriff's office buildings, open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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