UPDATE: Man wielding machete taken into custody by police
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Rexburg Police say the suspect has been taken into custody. The scene has been cleared and Walmart is open again.
REXBURG — The Rexburg Police Department has shut down portions of Second East due to an “active incident” at Walmart.
Capt. Randy Lewis tells EastIdahoNews.com that shortly after noon, authorities were notified of a man in Walmart with a machete and a hammer.
“He was not responsive to anybody and was basically talking to some shelves,” Lewis said. “We’re in here now, we’ve been with him for going on an hour and he won’t respond to any of our communications.”
Both Rexburg Police and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office are at the store. The building has been evacuated and Walmart employees are congregating at the gas station in the parking lot.
“We’re asking everyone to stay away from the Rexburg Walmart,” Rexburg Police Chief Shane Turman tells EastIdahoNews.com. “We’re in the middle of an active incident.”
Customer Justin Larson was inside the store when it was evacuated. He said he heard the man shouting threats.
“I was in the front and they were in the back near the auto parts area — the cops were yelling at him to put his (weapon) down, I didn’t hear exactly what he was saying, but I heard him say no and then more cops showed up, and then they evacuated everyone from the store within a minute,” Larson said.
“There was a lot of yelling, I thought someone was yelling at the manager or something, and then cops just kind of came in,” he said.
We have a crew on the scene and will continue to update as more information is released.