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‘Threat of violence’ at Walmart investigated by KC Police, Dept. of Homeland Security

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Kansas City Police and the Department of Homeland Security are investigating threats of violence at an area Walmart.

Jacob Becchina, spokesman for the department, told the Star Saturday that the police were made aware of the threats Thursday, though no specific store in KC was identified.

He said “federal partners” are still investigating.

Dixon Land, spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation office in Kansas City, said the FBI is taking this incident “very seriously” as they do with all such threats.

“We’re aware of the incident and we’re providing all available resources to vet this threat in conjunction with local law enforcement partners,” he said.

The Kansas City Police Department posted about the threats on Facebook and Twitter Friday night.

“We are getting a ton of messages right now regarding a threat of violence at a local Walmart that was posted on Reddit and elsewhere,” the Facebook post said. “We became aware of this threat yesterday and have been working with Homeland Security to address it. Thank you for your vigilance.”

In comments on the posts, the department said the threat mentioned Kansas City but no specific store location.

Police tweeted again Saturday morning that they are working closely with the FBI as well as other partners to investigate the threat and “vet the information that is being developed.”

Walmart spokesperson Jami Lamontagne said in a statement that the company is aware of the post and is in contact with area stores.

“We’re continually focused on safety and security in our stores and we take threats like this seriously,” Lamontagne said. “We will continue to help federal and local authorities with their investigation to determine the source and any credibility of a threat.”

The threat comes on the heels of mass shootings at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas and an entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio last week.

The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to the Star’s request for comment in time for publication.

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Katie Bernard covers Kansas crime, cops and courts for the Kansas City Star. She joined the Star in May of 2019. Katie studied journalism and political science at the University of Kansas.
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