Written by staff contributor Marissa Barkey. Edits made by founding editor Mitzi Figueroa.
The Captain and director of PBA Safety & Security received notice from the West Palm Police department earlier this afternoon regarding suspicions of a possible gang initiation shooting rumored to take place at a nearby Walmart location this evening. Police advised campus security to warn students to steer clear of the area tonight.
Safety and Security did not recieve any further information as to what Walmart location is rumored to be attacked or when the said attack is to take place. Either way, mass text messages have been circulating all over campus since the news first broke.
“Upon hearing the circumstance, security sent an email to Kevin Abel, who took action to have the RA’s and RD’s get the word out to students,” said Kara Luffman of Safety & Security.
Many students received an alert via text message, or heard the word from a classmate this afternoon. Residence Assistant to Oceanview hall, junior Jenny Boyer, received the text warning from a fellow student advising her that, “police are asking all women not to go to Walmart because three women will be shot in the parking lot tonight. This is not a joke. Please forward.”
Despite campus concern, local news sources are confirming the threat to be just a rumor. The Palm Beach Post even goes as far to call the threat to be nothing more than a viral urban legend. Curious students that check the Sun Sentinel can read the claims that the “warning is a hoax.”
“Even if it is a hoax, students should still steer clear of that area this evening to be safe,” said Luffman.
West Palm Beach police department confirmed to PBA Local editors that they are aware of the threat but they can neither confirm or deny the legitimacy of the rumor. They went on to say that they are prepared to do whatever they need to in the worst case scenario but it remains unknown whether this rumor will evolve into action.
Nonetheless, students should keep in mind that our university will continue to face the same hazards in the communities that surround it.
More information will be updated once it is made known. Got a tip? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.