GRANTS PASS, Ore. —
UPDATE: According to an official statement from GPDPS, they received a 911 call around 7 a.m. Thursday morning from an employee at the Grants Pass Walmart. The employee claimed that there was a woman inside the store with a knife — and that she was cutting herself, leaving a trail of blood through the store.
Officers arrived within four minutes, and employees said that the woman now "had two knives" and was inside the women's restroom near the front of the store. While some officers set up a perimeter around the bathrooms and began evacuating Walmart customers and employees, other officers began speaking with the woman from a "safe distance" outside of the bathroom.
Soon negotiators from the Critical Incident Negotiations Team arrived and took over communication with the woman.
The negotiations lasted for about two hours. Eventually the woman surrendered to police "without further incident," and other than the woman's self-inflicted wounds, no-one else was injured in the incident.
Once taken into custody, GPDPS says that the woman was treated by paramedics from American Medical Response. Due to "significant self-inflicted injuries," the woman was taken to Three Rivers Medical Center for treatment. She was cited for charges of disorderly conduct due to the event at Walmart, and was kept at the hospital for medical and psychological treatment.
Due to the "mental health component of the incident," GPDPS says that the woman's name will not be released.
"The Grants Pass Department of Public Safety is aware of the significant time this incident took to resolve," the statement reads. "We would like to thank Walmart, their employees and customers for their patience during this tense and uncertain event. Walmart remained closed for some time after the event for bio-hazard cleanup."
A representative from Walmart told NewsWatch 12 that the store will remain closed into the early evening, and that they were unsure of when, precisely, it would be open again.
(Updated 9/13/18 at 4:10 p.m.)
UPDATE: Officers on the scene say that a woman was in the store and began cutting herself with a knife, although they are not yet certain if she smuggled the knife in or took it from the store. She then barricaded herself in the bathroom and refused to come out.
When authorities arrived, they spent nearly two hours trying to negotiate with the woman and get her to open the door, using non-violent methods. A mental health professional also came to aid in negotiations.
The woman finally surrendered and was put onto a stretcher to be transported for treatment.
Walmart remains closed for the time being, as authorities say that there is some quantity of blood that needs to be cleaned up.
Grants Pass Department of Public Safety (GPDPS) will be releasing more details on the incident shortly.
(Updated 9/13/18 at 10:39 a.m.)
UPDATE: According to Grants Pass authorities, the woman involved in the Walmart negotiations has been "safely detained" and thoroughfares into Walmart should be opened shortly.
A woman was seen being brought from the building in a stretcher with restraints.
(Updated 9/13/18 at 9:34 a.m.)
INITIAL REPORT: Grants Pass police have evacuated the Wal-Mart store on NE Terry Ln and are negotiating with a person inside. They ask people to avoid the area.
They recently posted this comment on their Facebook page: “We take every precaution necessary when it comes to public safety. Not only for the people involved but innocent bystanders and the police/fire/medical personnel. We are currently using every tactic possible to resolve the situation without anyone getting hurt. Continued updates as the situation progresses.”
Newswatch12’s Cassandra Mlynarek is on the scene and we will update this story when we have more information.
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