Man who caused panic with ‘gun’ at Walmart turns himself in
A Newark man turned himself after, police say, he took an Airsoft gun off the shelf at the Walmart in Union Township — prompting the evacuation of the store on Thursday morning.
Police responded to the store on Route 22 around 10:45 a.m. after a masked man with a gun was spotted in an aisle, according to acting Union County Lyndsay V. Ruotolo. A search of the store found a person had taken a black Airsoft gun out of its package and left it someplace else in the store.
"We do not indicate that the suspect, described as a tall, heavyset black male wearing gray shorts and a gray T-shirt, had the means or intent to cause harm to anyone," Union Police said in a statement.
Joshua K. Phillips, 20, of Newark turned himself into Union Police headquarters on Thursday night after becoming aware of the media coverage about the incident, Ruotolo said.
He is charged with third-degree creating a false public alarm, third-degree possession of a weapon, and shoplifting, a disorderly persons offense. Phillips is being held at the Union County Jail pending a first appearance and detention hearing.
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