Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010 | 10:58 p.m.
A southwest valley Walmart store was evacuated Saturday after a man trying to pass a bad check pulled a gun on a security officer and dropped a backpack containing what appeared to be an explosive device, Metro Police said.
The incident happened about 4:45 p.m. at the store at 7200 Arroyo Crossing Parkway, near Interstate 215 and Rainbow Boulevard.
Metro Lt. Steve Herpolsheimer said store personnel recognized the man from a previous incident when he tried to pass the check, and a loss-prevention officer asked the man to accompany him to an office in the back of the store.
The man refused and left the store, he said. Once outside, the man pulled a gun and hit the store officer in the head with it, Herpolsheimer said. The gun went off, firing one round into the air, he said.
Nobody was struck by the round, police said.
As the gunman fled, he left behind a backpack. When Metro officers responding to the shots-fire call arrived at the store, they found what appeared to be an explosive device in the bag and called the bomb squad, police said.
Police evacuated the store, which was crowded with Saturday-afternoon shoppers, and the parking lot. The store remained closed for roughly two hours while police removed the device and swept the premises with a bomb-sniffing dog to make sure nothing else was left behind, Herpolsheimer said.
Police took away the device to be dismantled, Herpolsheimer said.
Police are searching for the suspect, who left behind a fake ID with his picture on it, Herpolsheimer said.
The store loss-prevention officer did not suffer any serious injuries and was not taken to the hospital, police said.