Report of gunman at same Wal-Mart fatal shooting occurred was an apparent hoax

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Law enforcement officials converged on a Grand Forks, North Dakota, Wal-Mart Sunday night after receiving reports of a gunman at the store.

The threat appears to have been a prank, however, WDAY reports.

No gunman was found in the store, which reopened at 5:30 a.m. Monday, the Grand Forks Herald says.

This is the same Wal-Mart that was the site of a fatal shooting back in May.

The manager of the Wal-Mart store called police before 9 p.m. Sunday saying an employee was on the phone with a man claiming to be inside the store, armed with a gun and holding two people hostage, WCCO says. The caller demanded $2,000 cash and threatened to harm the hostages, the Grand Forks Herald adds.

Police and SWAT officials responded, setting up a perimeter around the store and evacuating the 100 or so shoppers who were inside onto buses while police investigated, reports note.

Lt. Bill Macki told the Grand Forks Herald Monday that "it does not appear an actual threat was present within the store."

Macki told WDAY that he's sure the employees are shaken up, noting this isn't something they ever wanted to deal with, "let alone two very serious incidents happen[ing] within a short time frame."

Police were called to the same store back in May when a gunman killed one Wal-Mart employee and injured another before taking his own life inside the store.

Police said the gunman – Marcell Willis, a 21-year-old airman who was stationed at the nearby Air Force base – was drunk at the time of the shooting. Officials are still investigating the case, but note they haven't found an apparent motive for the shooting.

The store was closed for two days following the shooting.

In June 2013, the store was also evacuated after a bomb threat. That report turned out to be a hoax, the Grand Forks Herald says.

Although investigators believe there was no real threat associated to Sunday's incident, they do want to find out who made the phone call. Anyone with information about the incident, including who the caller may be, is asked to contact police at 701-787-8000.

Next Up

Zach Parise

Ghosts of Wild's past force split with Sharks

Brent Burns and Ryan Donato thwarted a comeback attempt by the Wild.

Avante Dickerson

Top-ranked recruit Avante Dickerson decommits from Gopher football

The four-star cornerback was the highest-rated recruit in Minnesota's 2021 class.

u.s. district court minnesota - federal court minneapolis

Limits on in-person court activity extended for 45 days

The statewide order extends current limitations through March 15.

D'Angelo Russell / Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves need more from D'Angelo Russell

The Wolves haven't gotten what they expected since making a blockbuster trade.

oct. 20 snow crash

Spinouts, crashes still happening after snow leaves MN roads a mess

The snow storm caused at least 208 crashes this weekend.

1024px-Crock_pot

For The Week: Food tips and tricks to get you through the next 7 days

BMTN's food writer Lindsay Guentzel makes life easier for Minnesotans.

snow, plow

Here's how much snow fell in Saturday's storm in Minnesota

MSP Airport had the highest total as of 7 a.m. Sunday with 5.3 inches.

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 3.17.49 PM

No KAT? No D'Lo? No problem as Timberwolves defeat Pelicans

The Timberwolves were without Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell, but still picked up a (SCORE) win.

Screen Shot 2021-01-23 at 7.53.44 PM

Spinouts, crashes across Twin Cities as snow gets heavier

There have been multiple incidents across the metro area.

Mason Branstrator

Family, friends raising funds for teen soccer standout with spinal injury

Mason Branstrator of Duluth was injured in a skiing accident.

Related

Wal-Mart rolls out same-day delivery service in Minneapolis

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is testing its new same-day delivery service of select electronics, toys and other online purchases in 10 markets, including Minneapolis, the Associated Press reports. The "Wal-Mart To Go" program costs $10 for an unlimited number of items. The Arkansas-based discount chain is trying to cater to online shoppers who are turning to retail sites like Amazon.com.

Chanhassen to Wal-Mart: Thanks, but no thanks

Hundreds of residents packed a planning commission meeting to speak out against a proposal to build a Wal-Mart in the city. Residents said they're concerned about traffic, noise, crime and the impact the store would have on local businesses.