Two with pellet gun, masks cause disruption at east Terre Haute Walmart

·2 min read

Aug. 2—Two men wearing masks — one of them with what appeared to be a handgun tucked into his waistband — caused a disruption at the east side Walmart late Tuesday morning.

Terre Haute police on their Facebook page said officers responded to the store at 2399 S. Indiana 46 in response to report of two adult males entering the store wearing masks (balaclava or ski-mask style) with one of them having a handgun visible in his waist band.

Their appearance caused those inside to evacuate in fear.

Officers responded and detained both subjects at gunpoint near the jewelry counter.

There, the handgun was determined to be a pellet gun. The two men told officers they were just making a "gangster" video.

Officers contacted the prosecutor's office with the details of the encounter. At this point, police said, the prosecutor's office has determined that no crime was committed. A report was taken and both men were released.

Later Tuesday afternoon, Terre Haute police posted an additional statement to their Facebook page:

"The purpose of our earlier post regarding the events at Walmart was to inform the public of what had occurred and to dispel false social media rumors indicating that an active shooter event had occurred," police said.

"While both the department and prosecutor's office believe the actions of these two individuals was irresponsible and even repulsive, we also understand that in these specific circumstances neither individual took actions (verbal threat, pointing of firearm, etc) that would meet the threshold for violating current Indiana law.

"The inclusion of the prosecutor's determination was meant to demonstrate that every step has been taken to hold accountable this conduct under current law, and not that we believe their assessment of the law in these specific circumstances was flawed. We both understand and share in the frustration over this incident and recognize the fear and potential for serious injury it has created."

This story was updated at 4:50 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, to include a second statement from the Terre Haute Police Department.