Threat disrupts business

Published 6:00 am Thursday, December 14, 2000

Shoppers at a Brookhaven discount store were given quite afright Wednesday evening, enough to make dozens drop their goodsand leave.

Just a few minutes before 5 p.m., a Wal-Mart Supercenteremployee received a threatening phone call, according toauthorities.

“One of the clerks received a call from an unknown individualwho stated there was a bomb in the middle of the store, and thenhung up,” said Brookhaven Police Chief Fred McKee.

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The clerk, following employee policy, immediately called hersupervisor, who quickly notified authorities, according toMcKee.

“We have certain procedures that we follow in those type ofsituations,” said John Antoon, store manager.

Within minutes, customers were evacuated and several policeofficers responded to the call.

According to an eye witness, many customers were in a state ofpanic, leaving their shopping carts behind and fleeing to theircars. One customer made her purchases, then ran with her shoppingcart about 100 yards away from the store in the drizzling rainwithout a coat.

Authorities searched the area for about 20 minutes, but did notfind anything to alarm them, so the remaining customers wereallowed back in the store.

“We occasionally get these prank calls, but we have to treat itlike it’s a real threat,” said McKee. “Thank goodness there wasnothing to it.”