TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Officers with the Tyler Police Department responded to reports that gunshots were heard near the Walmart on State Highway 64 Wednesday evening at 5:49 p.m. No injuries were reported in the incident, and the store has been cleared. The investigation is ongoing, police say.
A Walmart spokesperson said that as of 9 p.m. Wednesday night, the store has reopened and is back to business as usual.
Statement from Tyler Police Department issued at 8:31 p.m.:
On Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at 6:05 p.m., Tyler Police received numerous calls of shots fired near or at the rear of Walmart located at Highway 64 W. and Loop 323.
Officers responded to the area immediately to assess the situation of the reports. Upon officers arrival it was determined that there was no indication of any active shooter within the store.
Officers requested that the Walmart be cleared of all customers and employees so that a thorough search could be conducted for any potential victims or suspects.
Officers were told by several witnesses that they heard several shots near the rear of the store or outside the rear of the store. Officers also conducted a search of a wooded area to the south of the store and found no evidence of victims or discharging of a weapon.
First responders from Department of Public Safety, Smith County Sheriff’s Office, Tyler Fire Department, UT Health Emergency Services all responded to the scene to assist Tyler Police with the incident.
The only injuries that were reported at the scene were from personal health issues by customers or employees.
Anyone with information about the suspects involved in this crime are urged to contact the Tyler Police Department, at 903-531-1000, or Crimestoppers at 903-597-CUFF (903-597-2833). Crimestoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest and charges filed against the suspects in this case or any felony case.
This incident remains under investigation by the Tyler Police Department.
Don Martin, a spokesman for the Tyler Police Department, said Wednesday evening that TPD officers responded to Walmart on Highway 64 around 6 p.m. to check out reports of shots being fired. He said during a press conference at the scene that people in the store and surrounding businesses of it heard what sounded like multiple gunshots.
“We’re very, very thankful that we don’t have an active shooter situation going on right now,” Martin said.
Walmart spokesperson Randy Hargrove said that he spoke with Tyler police, and that the company is very glad that there was no actual threat to customers inside the store, and that the store had been evacuated by management out of an abundance of caution.
“The next thing you know, like 100 people, everybody swarming, like a sea of people just running out,” Wal-mart shopper Eddie Cristaneli says.
Officers from the Tyler Police Department arrived at the scene almost immediately, Martin said. They evacuated the building and did a thorough search of the store. No suspects were found, and no evidence like shell casings was found at the scene.
“All I heard was bap, bap, bap, bap, bap,” Cristaneli says.
The store was cleared, and as the Walmart employees headed back inside, a sheriff’s office deputy could be heard on a bullhorn congratulating them on how they handled the incident.
Martin said TPD officers searched a wooded area behind the store.
No one was injured in the incident and multiple law enforcement agencies were still at the scene helping with traffic control, Martin said.
During the press conference at the scene, Martin said it is possible that they will call a helicopter or drones in to assist with the search.
Tyler police ask that anyone who has video or audio of the incident to please share that with Tyler PD to help with the investigation. Call Tyler Police Department at 903-531-1000.