Video of fight at West Florissant Walmart goes viral
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Ferguson police are now investigating an altercation that broke out inside a Walmart store, which has since gone viral through videos all over social media.
“I’ve seen some videos on social media, and it’s disgraceful. I’m going to call it like it is,” said Ferguson Police Chief Frank McCall.
The video shows chaos in the self-checkout area of the Walmart off West Florissant Avenue. Multiple people become entangled in a brawl, as some individuals throw objects and set off fire extinguishers.
“You’re looking at probably anywhere from 10 to maybe 25 people [involved],” said McCall.
McCall says what they know so far is this altercation took place Tuesday night, following a small incident earlier that night that was handled internally and without calling the police.
“Apparently, it kicked back up shortly thereafter,” he said.
Police arrived at 9 p.m. for the second incident, but it was already settling down as they got to the store. McCall said the department is working with Walmart corporate to get surveillance video from inside the store.
Walmart declined to provide a comment on the incident and referred all questions to the police.
“We have been able to identify some individuals that were involved. The fact that you have individuals that might have assaulted each other or had been assaulted, we have to ensure that they are prepared and willing to prosecute,” said McCall. “But the other thing is that we have Walmart as a victim as well, and I’m confident they’ll prosecute because they have some property damage as well.”
Shoppers and residents who were at Walmart Tuesday night, or frequent the store, are now calling on the store to close after similar events have happened at this location before.
Based on this, News 4 asked Chief McCall if he considers this location to be a public nuisance to the surrounding community.
“No, I do not consider it a public nuisance. I think the issue is this, it’s that [this] Walmart could’ve been in any place in within this region,” he said. “It all depends on the parties that are involved.”
McCall says Walmart has made efforts to hire its own security for this location. News 4 did see a number of security vehicles on-site at Walmart Wednesday, but it is unclear from eyewitness videos from the incident if security was present at the time the altercation broke out.
“I will say it’s not isolated just to this location, and not just to this business. We have a lot of different incidences that are going on not just within business establishments but even on public streets,” said McCall. “And its not the point of trying to move it. You want to stop it.”
He says preventing incidents like this at Walmart or any location takes accountability and visibility.
“One thing is that you have to be prepared to prosecute; that’s number one. But more importantly, where the best deterrent in the world is visibility. So, it’s the point of being visible and being there, and then…let’s say you are security, that you are well and ready to contact law enforcement if there is a problem.”
At this time, no arrests have been made or injuries have been reported to the police.
“I think what we do want to do is have the opportunity to talk to the victims in question to confirm identification on the people that we believe that we have identified, and then we’ll take appropriate action at that time.”
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