UNION TOWNSHIP (Union) — Police on Thursday morning responded to reports of a possible masked man with a gun inside a Walmart on Route 22.

Law enforcement sources told New Jersey 101.5 the incident turned out to be a false alarm. Prosecutors believe a customer may witnessed someone trying to shoplift a toy gun.

The Township of Union on its Twitter account later said that there was "no threat of an armed, masked man and police were still monitoring the situation.

RLS Metro Breaking News reported that the store was evacuated about 11 a.m. and customers were sent to a secure area of the parking lot while armed police searched the store on the eastbound side of Route 22.

"We were all asked to drop everything and leave immediately," Vannessa Segarra told New Jersey 101.5. "Officers arrived with rifles!"

Segarra said she was grateful for the quick response of police.

A mother tweeted that her daughter was at cheerleading practice at the David Brearley Middle and High School about a mile away and was notified that all the athletes had to be picked up by a parent.

The shopping center also includes a Home Depot and a Home Goods store.

Police respond to report of a suspicious person at Walmart on Route 22 in Union (RLS Metro Breaking News)
Police respond to report of a suspicious person at Walmart on Route 22 in Union (Vannessa Segarra)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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