Iowa law enforcement agencies are handling hundreds of calls about e-mails and text messages warning of a planned gang initiation at a Walmart store. Jessica Lown, a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Public Safety, says investigators are calling it a "hoax." The message claims three women or girls will be shot. "We haven’t found any credible information that substantiates that this is actually going to happen, that there’s a gang out there that actually has plans in the works to do this," Lown said.
Iowa is among dozens of other states where the message is circulating via the internet and text messages. Although the threat or warning appears to be a hoax, Lown says Iowans should pay attention to their surroundings in any mall or department store. "If you see something that looks suspicious, don’t be afraid to contact the security at any retail location or contact your local law enforcement," Lown said. "That being said, if you get one of these text messages, we believe this to be a hoax and so please just disregard it at this point and time."