Man in custody after ‘suspicious person’ call from Petal Walmart

Man in custody after ‘suspicious person’ call from Petal Walmart

PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) - A man is in custody at the Petal Police Department after they received a “suspicious person” call from Walmart on Friday.

Petal Chief of Police Matthew Hiatt said the department received the call around noon.

Hiatt said officers made contact with the man while on a traffic stop and found two guns along with ammunition. The man, whose name is not being released at this time, was questioned by police and released on scene.

The department later received additional information, which prompted further investigation, and for the man to be taken into custody for questioning.

Hiatt and his department released the following statement regarding social media posts circulating about an “active shooter” in the city:

“Regardless of any social media posts, there has not been any report of an incident involving an active shooter in the City of Petal,” Hiatt said.

Regardless of any social media posts, there has not been any report of an incident involving an active shooter in the City of Petal.
Chief of Police Matthew Hiatt

Southern District resident agent for the ATF, Jason Denham said several law enforcement agencies including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were called in to help out the Petal Police Department in this investigation.

"Not just from a legal orientation, but from the primary focus of law enforcement in this day and age, from a public safety stand point to securing the help and the well-being of their citizens, Petal Police Department did a great job here,” said Denham.

Petal Police Captain Craig Locke said officers didn’t see any laws broken; however, they wanted to ensure public safety in the city.

“The officers didn’t see any laws being broken or anything like that,” said Locke. “He was in his rights and was released from that scene. We are not able to disclose how much ammunition or anything like he had. We are still in the process of inventorying the vehicle and doing all the paperwork and everything. We are still trying to get everything situated out at this point. The investigation is still ongoing now. We are doing everything we can to provide the safety and public safety to the citizens as we can in the City of Petal. We appreciate everyone being vigilant and anything they see that they need to report to us, feel free to. We just want them to know that we are trying to make the city safe for them.”

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