No bomb found after man suffering ‘mental health crisis’ triggers evacuation at Walmart

Police investigate a possible bomb threat outside a Walmart Supercenter in Cedar City, Utah, Nov. 5, 2017 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Authorities didn’t find any explosives at the Cedar City Walmart Sunday afternoon after a possible bomb threat was reported.

Police block off the entrance to a Walmart Supercenter to investigate a possible bomb threat involving the green RV pictured here (left), Cedar City, Utah, Nov. 5, 2017 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Cedar City Police responded to the incident at approximately 2:30 p.m. at the Walmart Supercenter at 1330 S. Providence Center Dr. after a store employee overheard an argument between a man reportedly suffering a mental health breakdown and his father, said Cedar City Police Sgt. Jerry Womack.

The Walmart employee initially went out to the store parking lot as the two men were arguing near a green RV.

“They overheard one of the parties say that there was a bomb in the RV,” Womack said.

The employee informed Walmart management, who in turn called police.

Responding emergency personnel evacuated the building and nearby stores, and police directed traffic away from the area.

Read more: Police evacuate Cedar City Walmart during possible bomb threat investigation

The area remained evacuated for approximately three hours until the St. George Police Department’s bomb squad cleared the incident after deploying robots to help examine the contents of the RV.

“The bomb squad got there and found there was no threat,” Womack said, “and there was nothing in the motor home at all.”

A robot is deployed as police investigate a possible bomb threat outside a Walmart Supercenter in Cedar City, Utah, Nov. 5, 2017 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

“After talking to the suspects and witnesses, we think that maybe things were taken out of context – the person they heard was suffering from a mental health crisis,” Womack said. “In his mind, he thought somebody had planted a bomb in the RV and that’s why he was arguing with his dad.”

“There was never actually any bomb.”

Police detained the pair while the incident was investigated, but nobody will be charged, Womack said.

“Suspect was in a mental health crisis,” Womack said, “and we don’t feel there was any criminal intent.”

Nobody was injured during the evacuation. Some evacuees were helped by the owner of a taxi company who offered free rides to and from the scene to those who couldn’t access their car in the cordoned parking lot.

The incident’s multiagency response also included personnel from Utah Highway Patrol, Iron County Sheriff’s Office, Cedar City Fire Department and Gold Cross Ambulance.

This report is based on information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings.

St. George News Reporter Jeff Richards contributed to this report.

Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Posted in Local, NewsTagged , , ,

2 Comments

  • Caveat_Emptor November 6, 2017 at 8:06 am

    The good news is that nothing was found, and the LEOs will log this as a realistic training exercise. Kudos to the WM employee for their “see/hear something, say something” response.

  • JOSH DALTON November 6, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Its to bad that robot can’t sniff out child molesters. That camper van looks pretty suspect! GO FALCONS!

Leave a Reply