Back to school shopping took a violent turn in a Michigan Walmart on Monday afternoon, after a woman allegedly brandished a gun during an argument over a notebook.
USA Today reports that the incident occurred in the city of Novi, near Detroit, when two pairs of women fought over the last notebook on a shelf. The women, Farmington Hills residents ages 46 and 32, and a mother and daughter from South Lyon, ages 51 and 20, were shopping for school supplies at a Walmart in the Novi Towne Center shopping plaza.
According to police, one of the Farmington Hill residents and the 20-year-old woman both reached for the last notebook on the shelf.
Novi Police Detective Sergeant Scott Baetans told Fox2Detroit that “one girl was going to buy a notebook. There was one left, some pushing resulted. They began to argue who was the rightful purchaser of that notebook.”
The two women pulled the younger woman’s hair, and her mother was shoved during the struggle. The 51-year-old mother, who reportedly has a valid concealed pistol license, then pulled out a gun.
According to Detective Baetens, “(the mother) pulled out her firearm and tells them to stop attacking her daughter while pointing the gun at them.”
A portion of the altercation was captured on cellphone video by a witness and published by USA Today.
Authorities told Fox2Detroit that they were continuing to investigate the incident by reviewing the store’s surveillance video and have referred the case to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
Police are looking to determine which of the shoppers was the aggressor, and if in fact the firearm was drawn in self-defense. All four women could reportedly face charges, depending on the findings of the investigation.
The incident occurred just weeks after an image of an ill-advised Walmart signage placement, seemingly linking back to school shopping and firearms, circulated through social media. As reported by USA Today, a Twitter user posted a photo of a sign reading “Own the School Year Like a Hero” which appeared to be placed above a display of guns for sale in a Walmart store. The company apologized for the incident, but later confirmed that they believed the image was a prank.
Feature photo: Associated Press