Man arrested after fake active shooting reported at Franklin County Walmart

Person was arrested in nearby woods

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – Authorities arrested the man they say called in a false report of an active shooting at the Rocky Mount Walmart on Monday.

At 12:45 p.m., the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center received a 911 call about a possible active shooter situation at the Walmart on Old Franklin Turnpike, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

Rocky Mount police were immediately dispatched to the scene and members of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office assisted.

Once on scene, officers confirmed there was no active shooter.

Mason State, 24, of Boones Mill, was arrested in a wooded area near the Walmart and charged with making the call, according to Rocky Mount Assistant Town Manager Matt Hankins.

“There is no reason to believe there is any threat to the community at this time,” said Rocky Mount Police Chief K.E. Criner. “We appreciate the rapid response of our officers, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia State Police.”

Additional charges are pending dissusion with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

State is being held at the Franklin County Jail.

“We will not stand for this type of disruptive event,” Criner said. “The daily safety and security of our residents and visitors is our primary concern, and we will do everything we can to ensure acts like this are punished to the full extent of the law.”

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