Update by Rick Kennedy, managing editor
A called-in bomb threat at the Hope Walmart late Saturday evening cleared the store of its employees and customers, but eventually proved harmless after an extensive police search of the facility.
Afterwards, a Hope police source still at the scene said unofficially that “An unidentified female had called into the store and claimed there was a bomb in the building. A search was conducted and yielded no results.”
The police source added that “trash cans” on the property had also been search. There was no further comment from the police source on Saturday night.
As the store reopened, business was observed being conducted as normal with employees back on the job, and shopping freely entering the building and leaving with purchases.
Within approximately one hour after the call, both employees and customers had been allowed back in the building, although business and traffic were disrupted for a period on Saturday night at approximately 9:45 p.m.
By 10:11 p.m. a number of eyewitness reports and Facebook posts were noting that employees were gathered in the adjacent Dos Locos parking lot, and three Hope fire trucks along with one Hope police car were posted in the nearby Verizon lot. Two Hope police vehicles were observed in the Walmart parking lot itself during the search.
A Hope fire truck had actually blocked off all incoming traffic from Hervey as the search was conducted.
***** first write-thru Saturday *****
The Hope Wal-Mart is temporarily closed due to a bomb scare. Hope Police and the Hope Fire Department are on scene. There have been no reports of actual violence or damage to property. Customers and Employees have been evacuated. We will keep you up to date with information as we learn it.