WEST MONROE, La.- - UPDATE: [9:30 p.m. 11/2/2017]
A trip to pick up a few groceries at Walmart turned into a very scary situation for Ouachita Parish resident Samantha Freeman.
"They told us to get to the back of the building immediately," Freeman said. "So me and my children went to the back of the building immediately."
Yet, what they said next scared her even more.
"They said there was a bomb threat- that someone left a package in front of Walmart and they didn't know what it was," Freeman said.
"I was very scared for my children because they said if it went off it could be very bad or deadly to everybody in there, so I was more scared for my children than anything," she added.
A suspicious package, a black duffel bag, was left in the parking lot and authorities reacted immediately.
"Anytime someone anonymously leaves big packages in parking lots, especially nowadays, you never know," West Monroe Police Department Chief Jeff Terrell said. "We're going to be cautious anytime that happens and find out who did it, and make sure it's safe."
The store was then put on lockdown for about three hours, with local law enforcement securing the scene.
A bomb squad from the Monroe Police Department was called in to find out what was inside the package.
"A member of their bomb squad opened the suitcase and was able to see a DVD player in the bottom of the suitcase," Chief Terrell added.
Once investigators determined the package was no longer a threat, the store reopened and the scene was cleared.
"Our main goal is to make sure everyone is safe. I know a lot of people were inconvenienced at Walmart and weren't able to go to their cars, but we're only doing it for their safety," Chief Terrell said.
Although this shopping trip was a little big longer than expected, Freeman said she's thankful the situation didn't turn out worse.
"I'm very thankful because my children are my world and I'm just glad everyone's safe," Freeman added.
(11/2/2017) Around Noon today, West Monroe Police responded to the Walmart at 1025 Glenwood Drive, off Thomas Road and I-20. They had received a call about a suspicious package.
Police tell NBC 10 they are investigating the package found in the parking lot to determine if it is hazardous or not. Right now, they want people to avoid the area.
As you can see in the photograph, police have at least part of the parking lot sectioned off with crime tape. At this time, there are no injuries reported.
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