Las Vegas police have arrested a Walmart shopper who allegedly wore a hazmat suit and sprayed people and produce with an unidentified clear liquid, causing a panic in the store and leading to an evacuation.
As KLAS reported, police were called to the Walmart store on the west side of the city for reports of a suspicious person arriving just after 8 p.m. on Saturday. Witnesses had said that the person wore a hazmat suit and sprayed 13 people with what was described as a clear liquid, leading to a full evacuation of the store.
As the report noted, it was still not known what was in the substance that the suspect sprayed, but police said there were no immediate health side-effects to those who were sprayed. None of the people who were sprayed showed symptoms, and none had to be taken to the hospital.
“He had some clear liquid in it with the painter’s tape, something written on it,” said witness Zandra Calma, who called police on the man.
“He was just spraying unnecessary things and peoples’ person spaces, on conveyor belts, and worst of all, by the fresh foods.”
The report noted that one of the Walmart shoppers followed the suspect as they left the store, getting the car’s license plate number and relaying it to the police. Though the suspect escaped the scene, police said they were later arrested.
The strange circumstances of the incident garnered some national attention, especially amid growing nationwide concern over the spread of the coronavirus. A number of communities have enacted strict measures against group events, encouraging people to stay inside their homes as much as possible and only going out for essentials like food shopping and picking up medicine.
The Las Vegas police who responded to the Walmart incident urged people to behave reasonably as they go out in public.
“We know that there’s a difficult time going on in the world right now,” said Officer Ocampo Gomez, spokesperson for Las Vegas police, via KTNV, “but there is no reason for you guys to be going into the stores late at night and hoarding some of the supplies due to the fact that there are plenty of supplies left in the stores at this point.”
Police in Las Vegas have not yet announced what the Walmart shopper would be charged with after allegedly spraying people with the clear liquid. The person’s identity has not yet been disclosed either.