Liz Hill, director of Office of Emergency Preparedness, called her contact with the state’s Homeland Security to discuss this message. She said the text messages and emails circulating varied sometimes indicating men would be killed or a man, woman and child. She said some messages included different gang names. They lacked an exact date and exact location.
Hill said officials with Homeland Security believe this to be a hoax and are looking into it. If the public calls a law enforcement official, they were advised to treat this as a chain letter or hoax.
“It is a hoax that has taken on a life of its own and the newest version has the shooting occurring at Wal-Mart stores,” Hill explained in an email Thursday. “We have received several calls regarding these types of complaints and people are still receiving this hoax by text message and emails as we speak. Please disseminate this information about the hoax to surrounding agencies. This message is being received through the U.S.”
However, even though the message was declared a hoax, officials encourage the public to always use caution when shopping at any store and to report any illegal activities to one’s local law enforcement agency or 9-1-1. Remember 9-1-1 is only for emergencies, so please do not tie up these lines to discuss this “hoax” message.