The Walmart Supercenter in Clovis, Fresno County, California, was evacuated Wednesday afternoon, Aug.14, due to a bomb threat that turned out to be unsubstantiated, police said.
The store self-evacuated after receiving a call that there was a bomb inside the building and it was going to be detonated, Clovis Police Sgt. John Willow said, and The Fresno Bee reported.
Police received a call from Walmart at around 2 p.m.
Officers responded to an unsubstantiated bomb threat with a heavy police presence at the Walmart, according to ABC30.
Authorities had roadways, and parking lots to the shopping center blocked off.
“We were able to get in here and secure the perimeter and lock it down and get all the cars out of the way and get all the customers and all the employees shuttled off in the meeting area,” Willow said.
The store remained closed while Clovis officers along with assistant from a Fresno Police K-9 unit searched the building for any suspicious items or packages, The Fresno Bee reported.
Clovis PD and Fire have large perimeter set up around Walmart at Clovis & Herndon. PD tells me K-9 units are combing through Walmart seeing if there is any validity to bomb threat. Walmart self evacuated as a precaution. No other stores in shopping center closed. @ABC30 pic.twitter.com/Gc458uGlDx
— Vanessa Vasconcelos (@VanessaABC30) August 14, 2019
Employees were allowed back in at 4:10 p.m. A Walmart employee said that the store would be closed “until further notice.”
Customers were turned away as the doors were locked.
Willow said the scene was “extremely calm and orderly” in spite of the scare, and there was no evidence that the threat was real.
“It was just crowded and a lot of the vehicles were funneling out. It worked out smooth,” he said. “We have nothing to believe that at this point in time. We’re still going to investigate it.”
Clovis Police Department said in a statement on Facebook at 4:21 p.m. that Walmart had been cleared and the parking lot was back open. The store is expected to be open within the hour.