First Posted: 8/9/2009
For the first time since its opening, Wal-Mart at 2241 Rockford St. was emptied of its occupants while police officials looked for bombs after a caller who identified himself as a terrorist said he would blow the store up if his demands were not met.
At 8:12 p.m., the Surry County 911 Communications Center received a call from the Mount Airy Police Department about the bomb threat.
Mount Airy Police Department Senior Patrol Officer Terry Shelton said a man called and claimed to be a terrorist, and would blow up the store if his demands were not met.
When a store manager then asked what his demands were, he hung up. We tried to get a trace through the phone company. We searched the store but nothing was found, Shelton said.
Store Manager Wayne Mosley was on duty at the time of the incident. Justin Delph was the manager who took the call.
Weve got a couple of leads. This is still under investigation, Shelton said.
The store reopened around 9:15 p.m.
Mount Airy Fire Department personnel directed traffic for customers leaving the store while Wal-Mart employees and confused customers lingered around the outer perimeter of the parking lot.
Surry Emergency Services Supervisor Eric Southern said it is standard procedure to have an ambulance on standby while police personnel search the store premises.
Store employee David Pruitt, who was standing in the parking lot of Neighbors in front of Wal-Mart, said everyone was told to leave the store calmly and quietly.
They said they would re-open as soon as possible. There was no panic, everyone just headed to the exits, Pruitt said.
Contact Mondee Tilley at [email protected] or at 719-1930.