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Shopper Waiting In Walmart Layaway Line Pulls Knife On Employee

December 11, 2018 - 6:56 am

STERLING HEIGHTS (WWJ) - A metro Detroit Walmart was evacuated after a violent disturbance between an employee and a customer in the layaway line.

It happened Monday at the Walmart on Van Dyke Avenue near 14 Mile Road in Sterling Heights. 

Police say a customer was waiting in the layaway line when he got into an argument with an employee. At some point, the argument turned slightly physical and the customer pulled out a knife and pointed it at the employee. Someone then pulled a fire alarm, prompting an evacuation from the store; that apparently led to some panic and confusion among customers, who began running. The evacuation lasted about 20 minutes. 

There were initial reports of a shooting threat, but police say no guns were involved and the store remained open during their investigation.

The suspect fled the scene at remains at large. 

While police were investigating, they encountered a 52-year-old Detroit woman who was with the suspect. That woman provided officers with false information and was subsequently arrested on larceny charges. Her relationship with the suspect isn't clear. 

No injuries were reported.

The incident remains under investigation.