Update, noon, Friday: Harker Heights police on Friday said they have not arrested the person accused of stealing from the Wlamart store.

Shoppers and employees fled the Harker Heights Walmart after an erroneous report of an active shooter spread through the store Thursday evening.

“An officer arriving to Walmart observed a large crowd running out of Walmart from a reported call of an active shooter. Officers responded to Walmart for the reported active shooter. Upon arrival, officers cleared the store and found that the reported active shooter was a false alarm,” according to a statement from Police Chief Phillip Gadd.

Store employees had chased a robbery suspect from the store shortly before that, and Heights police joined the chase outside, according to a Heights Police Department statement.

Shopper Ashley Pickens walked into the store shortly after 7 p.m. At about 7:15 p.m., an employee told her there was a man with a gun. An alarm went off inside the store.

Pickens said she ran all the way through the warehouse section of Walmart and through the back doors.

She was helping others, including children, leave the building.

Pickens said she and others retreated to a plaza behind the Wal-Mart.

With a help of a good friend, she was able to return to the store to retrieve her vehicle.

“Everyone was scared, screaming. We did not know what to do. We don’t know what to expect, especially with what is going on with El Paso and what has happened in Baton Rouge as well,” she said. “Everyone is a little nervous, we are on edge, even if it was someone with a license to carry.”

In El Paso, 22 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at a Walmart.

In Baton Rouge, two people drew guns but fired no shots during their argument at a Walmart, according to a report from The Advocate in Baton Rouge.

Heights Walmart employees told the Herald they could not make a comment on the incident.

Herald staff write David Perdue contributed to this story. | 254-501-7567

Monique Brand - Killeen Daily Herald

City Hall Reporter

Monique 'Mo' Brand joined the Herald in May 2019. Before that, she covered border coverage and county government in Arizona. She also worked as a reporter in Kerrville, Los Angeles, and Norfolk Virginia. The U.S. Navy veteran grew up in Killeen.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.