‘Terrifying': Panic after report of man with gun making threats at Federal Way Walmart

A Walmart in Federal Way was evacuated and put on lockdown after police said a man, who appeared to have a gun, reportedly made threats Wednesday afternoon sending shoppers running for safety.

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — Police said the man who reportedly made threats at a Federal Way Walmart on Wednesday, causing an evacuation and lockdown, appeared to be shopping for BB gun ammo.

On Thursday, detectives said video showed the man being confronted by store security, which is when he told them he had a BB gun.

Police said the video showed store security following the man around and that is when he allegedly made the comment about possibly "shooting up the store."

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On Wednesday, reports of threats made by the man, who was believed to have a  real gun, sent shoppers running for safety.

Police said no one was reportedly hurt.

Cellphone video shared with KIRO 7 showed employees and shoppers waiting outside the Walmart as police cars lined the side of the store.

"They announced over the intercoms for everybody to leave the store," said a shopper, who did not want to be publicly identified. "One of the employees said there was a guy with a gun and that's when everybody was running out."

Federal Way police say the suspect, only described as a man between 35 and 45 years old, walked into the store on south 314th Street around 5 p.m. with what appeared to be a gun and made threats.

A police commander told KIRO 7 he couldn't immediately say what threats were made but said the man did not point any weapon at anyone.

"Everybody was just shaken up," said the shopper. "The workers were extremely shaken up."

That shopper said the recent mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, only added to the initial terror felt inside the store in Federal Way.

"It's terrifying. You don't expect it," she said. "It's sad that this is what our world has become."

Police said officers searched and came up empty-handed but did review surveillance video that showed the suspect walking out of the Walmart shortly after the first 911 call.

Investigators told KIRO 7 they would not release surveillance video or pictures of the suspect, who as of 9 p.m. Wednesday had not been located.

"Everybody is being overly cautious, but you can't – you have to be overly cautious nowadays," said the Walmart shopper. "Any little threat becomes something big because everybody's on edge."

Walmart did not immediately respond to our request for additional details.

Police said Thursday that the man did not appear to be a credible threat and the issue was more of a "beef of him and security." They don't believe a crime was committed.

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