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East Stroudsburg Walmart Evacuated After Shooting Incident
Law enforcement and emergency services rushed to the Walmart Supercenter in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania on Saturday following initial reports of shots fired inside the busy store. While details remain unconfirmed, authorities temporarily evacuated staff and customers amid an active scene.
Timeline of Events
Shortly before noon, authorities received 911 calls from multiple witnesses reporting hearing possible gunfire in or near the Walmart located at 355 Lincoln Avenue. East Stroudsburg Police Department officers swiftly responded and descended on the location.
Officers initially ordered store management to enact emergency evacuation procedures of all staff and patrons while they secured the 200,000+ square foot building. Police have yet to locate any victims or a shooting suspect as their ongoing investigation continues into the early afternoon Saturday.
Evacuees Moved to Safety
Customers and employees evacuated from Walmart during the critical incident have been directed away from the active scene towards a nearby temporary shelter site. Red Cross mental health counselors are present to assist shaken witnesses coping with the anxiety and trauma associated with believing they were in harm’s way.
Police urge those needing to retrieve personal belongings left behind in the store to remain patient while officers methodically clear and process areas of the building. Updates will be provided once the building is declared safe to re-enter to claim any stranded vehicles or possessions requiring retrieval.
Impact on Community
The frightening situation led several neighboring East Stroudsburg businesses and public venues to voluntarily close for the day due to close proximity to the Walmart and abundance of caution. Some local events may also be postponed pending the all-clear from authorities managing the ongoing crisis response.
Residents are encouraged to avoid sections of Lincoln Avenue and surrounding roads which have been closed to traffic. While an unsettling occurrence for the small Pennsylvania town, officials appreciate community members’ cooperation during active emergency response activities.
Outcome Still Unfolding
Nearly 3 hours after initial shots reportedly rang out inside the East Stroudsburg Walmart, stunned shoppers remain sequestered awaiting word on whether the gunman has been apprehended and the store cleared for their safe return and police inspection.
With no confirmed victims or evidence found as yet, the motives behind the violent incident – if legitimate – along with the perpetrator’s identity, remain a mystery to equally puzzled investigators who continue working to piece together what triggered panic earlier today.