Active shooter false alarm causes panic at Northglenn Walmart; arrest made in parking lot

NORTHGLENN, Colo. -- Reports of an active shooting inside a Northglenn Walmart caused panic at the store Monday afternoon. However, while an arrest was made in the parking lot, the reports of an active shooter were unfounded.

Witnesses described the scene as chaotic.

“I heard these two large bangs and immediately, people start running down the aisle,” said Edward Johnson, who was inside the store at the time.

Outside, authorities had cornered a female suspect, who was later taken into custody.

“There was police, FBI, sheriff — everybody was out there,” said Alisa Sanchez, a Walmart employee.

The Northglenn Police Department says no gunshots were fired. However, at the time, people feared the suspect had made it inside the store with a gun.

“Someone opened the back door, which set off the alarm and even made it worse because an alarm was going off.  People were yelling.  One woman was crying. It was intense for 15 or 20 minutes,” Johnson told FOX31 and Channel 2.

Johnson says Walmart employees didn’t hesitate to get customers to a safe area.

“The employees start going, ‘Active shooter! Get into the back room.’ They herded us into the back room and locked the door.  We were in there for maybe 15 minutes. Then they let us out and the police were at the front," Johnson said.

Sanchez had just returned from her lunch break when she heard those same two “bangs” from outside.

“It was scary. My stomach was upset,” she recalled.

Sanchez says that almost immediately, she thought of the deadly shooting at a Walmart just one mile away in neighboring Thornton in 2017.

“One of my friend’s sons was one of the victims. That’s the first thing that went through my mind was, ‘oh boy'," Sanchez said.

Fortunately, no one was hurt Monday, and it was business as usual shortly after the arrest.

Sanchez says she’s just thankful the suspect never made it inside.

“I think it could have been really bad because the people had guns also. I could see that there was guns. I think it could have been really bad," she said.

FOX31 spoke with the Northglenn Police Department, asking for more details about the incident. No new information was released as of Monday evening.

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