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Bomb Scare at Nixa Walmart - Suspect Charged

Suspect in custody and charged with second degree terrorist threat

NIXA, Mo. — A bomb scare at a Nixa Walmart this morning lead to full evacuation and street closures Saturday morning.

One suspect is under custody and charged with making a terrorist threat in the second degree, police say.

Arif Rahman, 33, an employee at the Walmart, is accused of placing a suspicious looking item inside Walmart with the intent to scare people, police say. 

Read the criminal charge and probable cause statements here

City of Nixa Public Information Officer Drew Douglas says 911 dispatch received a call at approximately 9:59 a.m. Saturday morning.

"An employee of Walmart believe that they had a bomb in the back storage area of the store. They described seeing a black box with zip ties and two blinking red lights," said Douglas.

"I heard that someone talking about a suspicious package that someone dropped off, then next thing you know they start evacuating,' said Payton Lasiter, a Walmart customer.

The evacuation was already underway by 10:04 a.m., following Walmart's procedures. 

They evacuated all customers and employees.

"All the customers were allowed to leave, and the employees were evacuated out here to the very back far edge of the parking lot," said Douglas.

Customers were not allowed to go back into the store for about two hours.

"I had several plans today, it kind of slowed it down," said Ronda Clark, another Walmart customer.

"People were asking how long it would be until they can go back in," said Lasiter.

The streets leading up to Walmart was blocked off as well.

Nixa fire department and police department arrived on scene and conducted a full sweep of the store by 10:12 A.M. to make sure there wasn't anything else in there.

The Springfield Fire Department bomb squad arrived on scene at around 11:10 a.m. to review the device itself.

"And at that point, they determined the device was not explosive, it was inert, and so they took that device into their possession," said Douglas.

At around noon, the fire department and police department took some managers and employees to double-check the store.

"Make sure nothing else looked out of place, nothing else looked unusual, and we've determined that there is no other threat, no other device at this time," said Douglas.

Rahman is currently being held in the Christian County Jail on a cash-only bond of $20,000.


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