Heads up VB: Fake ‘Walmart warnings’ are making their way around social media

VIRGINIA BEACH — Images and messages have been appearing on social media sites warning people of an impending mass shooting at a Walmart here.

Police said it’s fake.

“We have heard of this post that is being reported nationwide. There is no validity to the information being related to Virginia Beach,” said MPO Tonya Pierce, spokeswoman for the Virginia Beach Police Department.

Text in the photos reads:

“Stay out of Walmart this weekend. Just got a text from a friend that an officer (his friend) said they arrested a man in Virginia Beach on suspected mass shooting and the suspect told them he was part of a group that would be shooting up Walmarts this weekend.” 

It’s been nearly two weeks since a man walked into an El Paso, Texas Walmart and shot 22 people to death.

In the time since, law enforcement agencies from states including Pennsylvania, Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina have addressed social media warning residents to stay out of Walmart in their localities and said they aren’t real.

Fake posts warning residents about a planned shooting in local Walmarts has circulated the internet. (Southside Daily/Courtesy of Kate Larkin)
Fake posts warning residents about a planned shooting in local Walmarts has circulated the internet. (Southside Daily/Courtesy of Kate Larkin)

 

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Lucretia Cunningham is a multimedia journalist at Southside Daily covering hyper-local stories in Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Her stories focus on public safety, tourism, and city government. She is a Virginia transplant and military spouse originally from Chicago. Lucretia also served on active duty from 2006 to 2016 and started her journalism career as a broadcaster in the Virginia Air National Guard. When she’s not covering stories on the Southside, she’s covering stories with her Air National Guard unit.