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Walmart evacuated due to threat

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Employees and shoppers were briefly evacuated from the Roswell Walmart Tuesday, following a threat of a possible act of violence being carried out inside the store.

Roswell Police and Chaves County Sheriff’s Office deputies evacuated Walmart Supercenter, 4500 N. Main St., at 1:20 p.m. Tuesday, according to Todd Wildermuth, public information officer with the Roswell Police Department.

Mike Herrington, Chaves County Sheriff said Tuesday that the store was evacuated for about 20 minutes after a store manager came across a post on the social media platform Snapchat that indicated individuals wishing to do harm to shoppers in the store were on their way to the store.

Law enforcement subsequently investigated the store and did not find any threats related to the post, and shoppers were then allowed to re-enter the store, Herrington said.

He said Roswell Police are now investigating the incident and he does not know if any suspects have been identified.

Tuesday’s incident happened in the wake of two deadly shootings Saturday that left 31 people dead, including one at an El Paso Walmart that left 22 dead and 15 injured.

Another shooting in Dayton, Ohio left nine people dead.

The incident in Roswell also comes a day after New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced she would convene a domestic terrorism summit, to which she invited legislators from both parties and public safety officials.

A press release from the office of the governor said the summit scheduled for Aug. 14 is meant to foster a discussion about steps the state in collaboration with local public safety jurisdictions can take to be prepared if individuals seek to carry out acts of mass violence in New Mexico communities.

The release states that individuals invited to the summit include Hector Balderas, New Mexico attorney general; state Sen. Mary Kay Papen, D-Las Cruces, New Mexico Senate Pro Tempore; Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe; Senate Minority Leader Stuart Ingle, R-Portales; House Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe; House Majority Leader Sheryl Williams Stapleton, D-Albuquerque; and House Minority Leader James Townsend, R-Artesia.

Information was included in this story from the Associated Press. 

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.