A mad rush for back-to-school items at a Michigan Wal-Mart turned violent this week as a woman pulled a gun during a brawl inside the store.
It happened at the Wal-Mart in Novi, Michigan, in the school supply aisle to be exact. It’s where shoppers usually just browse through paper, pens, backpacks, and lunchboxes in preparation for the upcoming academic year. Monday, August 28, there was nothing usual about that area of the store. According to reports, four customers began fighting over a notebook.
Although details are still being worked out, police said two women, ages 32 and 46, were shopping for school supplies when they encountered another pair, a 20-year-old woman and her 51-year-old mother, doing the same thing. One of the women grabbed the notebook, the last one on the shelf, but she was unaware that someone in the other duo already intended to buy it. Witnesses say the incident started with a controlled discussion, but that didn’t last very long.
Soon a loud debate erupted about who should be awarded the item. Shoving then ensued, and the Novi Towne Center retail center became the scene of two-on-two battle. Nobody was backing down, police said. The 51-year-old woman decided to take the incident to the next level by pulling out a loaded handgun. She didn’t fire it, but shoppers scattered from inside the store.
As customers ran, the woman pointed the gun at the two women, accusing them of attacking her daughter. The police were called and discovered the woman has a permit to carry the firearm. No charges were filed at the scene. Police interviewed several witnesses and are also reviewing security footage with prosecutors.
Investigators say their job now is to determine who the aggressors were in the fight and if the woman pulled the gun in self-defense.
All four women could be charged with a range of crimes.
“A simple assault could be just a local ordinance, a 90-day misdemeanor,” Novi Police Det. Scott Baetens said, “all the way up to felonious assault with a firearm, which is a felony. It was a senseless act of violence all the way around.”
No shots were fired, and nobody was injured. The names of the women involved have not been released.
In Michigan, felonious assault with a firearm is punishable by up to two years in prison and fines of up to $2,000.
[Featured Image By Scott Olson/Getty Images]