WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK – It was a regular Black Friday at the North Broadway Walmart, until shoppers were asked to evacuate the building and the surrounding area due to a bomb threat.
The store, located in White Plains, New York, was in full swing as shoppers buzzed around in a bargain hunting frenzy. The roll back signs that have become synonymous with Walmart were on full display boasting their lowest prices yet, kids begging their parents to buy one toy after the next, and Walmart employees moving from one end of the massive store to another at lightning fast rates.
This was the scene until a calm voice came over the intercom telling shoppers to leave their shopping carts where they were and evacuate the store. The confusion was clear and some shoppers even continued shopping until sales associates started guiding customers out of the store.
The seriousness of the situation became clear as police cars, fire trucks and emergency security vehicles pulled up to the scene.
One by-stander said that one of the employees said it was a code blue. “Well, code blue means bomb so we all left our packages and got out.”
Shoppers watched as the police officers secured the area and closed off the whole street next to the Walmart. The Burlington Coat Factory located on top of the Walmart was also evacuated as the police searched the area. Shoppers that parked their cars in the parking garage on top of the building were not let through to get to their cars while the search went on.
A member of the stores security team says “the store received an anonymous call about the bomb”, and then was swiftly evacuated.
The evacuation happened at 12:30 p.m. and ended at 2 p.m. when the building was secured and it was clear that there was no imminent threat. Walmart reopened at 2 p.m. and customers were given a one-hour grace period to recover their shopping carts. The unrecovered shopping carts were then emptied and the products put back on the shelves.
The manager of the store was on site but refused to answer any questions pertaining the evacuation, claiming she was not allowed to talk about it.