GRESHAM, Ore. -- A report of a gunman inside a Fred Meyer created quite a scare in Gresham. The store was evacuated, and customers were deeply shaken in light of the shootings in Clackamas and Connecticut.
The incident happened near East Powell Boulevard and Southeast Burnside Road in Gresham around 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
There was no one found with a gun at Fred Meyer. The store re-opened a short time after it was evacuated. But customers say after the tragic shootings in Connecticut and Clackamas, the search for a possible gunman had them fearing the worst.
Novella Ratliff was shopping for cat food when she said an employee approached her about a possible sighting of a gun inside the store around 4:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
“She said there's someone in the place with a gun and I kind of looked at her and said this is not funny and then I looked in her eyes and go oh you're serious,” Ratliff said.
Police evacuated Ratliff and other customers. Fred Meyer reopened about 20 minutes later, after police didn’t find any evidence of a gun. But this false alarm was enough to shake Josie Dupree’s sense of security.
“I was just fearful that something is going to trigger again, another incident that we just gone through and it makes me scared to be in that situation,” Josie Dupree, a customer said.
Portland Police Sgt. Greg Pashley said the horrific shootings in Clackamas and Connecticut are clearly on people’s minds.
“Sometimes when there are a series of events that draw our attention, people are tuned in more. They're on higher alert in their everyday lives that's not uncommon ,” Pashley said.
Pashley said the customer made the right move calling police.
“Sometimes seconds count. If it seems unusual, suspicious, its' out of the normal, give us a call,” Pashley said.
Back at Fred Meyer, Ratliff commended Gresham police and store employees for evacuating everyone calmly and quickly.
“The place was busy, it was packed we had a bunch of people here, out front and over by the nursery. They did a great job, it's sad the world is coming to this,” Ratliff said.
Both Ratliff and Dupree said they’re not going to let this incident stop them from shopping at their store or allow these tragedies stop them from living their life.