Crime

Man threatening to shoot up Spanaway Walmart found in bathroom with 2 flare guns, knife

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A 52-year-old man who threatened to shoot up a Walmart store in Spanaway was arrested in the store bathroom with two flare guns and a knife, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

He called 911 about 9:40 p.m. Saturday and told dispatchers he was in the children’s section of Walmart and planned to “start shooting people with a flare gun,” sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.

Dispatchers kept the man on the phone while deputies responded and could hear the man asking an employee where the flare guns were kept. The man hung up after saying he’d acquired several flare guns and was heading to the hunting section.

When deputies arrived, they were unable to find the man and checked surveillance video. That allowed them to determine what the man looked like and track him to the family restroom, where he was taken into custody.

Two flare guns, eight projectile flares, a knife and a 12-gauge shotgun shell were found under two pairs of pants he was wearing, Troyer said.

The man was booked into Pierce County Jail on suspicion of attempted second-degree assault, felony harassment and third-degree theft.

Stacia Glenn covers crime and breaking news in Pierce County. She started with The News Tribune in 2010. Before that, she spent six years writing about crime in Southern California for another newspaper.


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