For the second day in a row a bomb threat forces an evacuation in Wichita Falls. Target is at the center of an investigation Tuesday after
police said the store received a phone call from someone claiming there was a bomb inside the building.
The call came in around 11:45 a.m., according to police. The Wichita Falls Fire Department, and Police Department responded to what they now call a hoax.
Target shoppers said an announcement alerted them to the emergency situation. But that announcement did not include what type of emergency it was, and customers were asked to exit the building forcing them to leave behind all shopping items. One of those shoppers said it was a scary experience she never wants to go through again.
"We were shopping and the manager came over the intercom and said everyone needs to get out of the building, and that it was not a drill and that it was an emergency," said Target shopper Sarah Fukasawa.
"I was frightened, but everyone else around was kind of just acting like they weren't really sure what was
going on. They were just looking at each other," said Fukasawa.
Crews searched the store, but did not find any suspicious items. The store was closed and then re-opened in less than an hour.
Police are saying this type of false report can result in a number of serious charges. They said anyone reporting false claims can be charged with a false report, terroristic threat, or even a felony depending on where the threat is made.
And depending on the charge and conviction the person responsible could face jail time or prison.
"Anytime anyone makes any type of threat to an individual that places them in fear of eminent bodily injury, obviously a bomb threat would do that, then they can be charged with terroristic threat," said Harold McClure, Sergeant for Wichita Falls Police Department.
McClure said they are now investigating the Target bomb threat as a terrorist threat.
"We do receive calls like this, we do get them, we do have a policy in place on how to respond to them, our officers are trained on how to respond to them," said McClure.
Police said they do not believe Tuesday's threat is connected to the Midwestern State University bomb threat. They said certain details do not match up, but they haven't ruled anything out at this time.