OZARK, Mo. -- Two Walmart Supercenters in the Ozarks joined a handful of other stores across the state that were evacuated Friday evening.
Around , customers and employees were
escorted out of stores in Nixa (
Police say it all started by a threatening call, likely computer-generated, to the stores' phone systems.
"It came over the intercom and said that due to circumstances behind their control, they were evacuating the building and everyone needed to leave their merchandise where it was and evacuate the building," says Ozark customer Rickey Isham.
Police and fire departments in each city responded to the scenes, blocking off traffic and all entrances while Walmart's security team swept the stores.
Viewer Charlene Smith says everyone
inside the store in Nixa was escorted into the nearby
The Ozark store was reopened around About 30 minutes later, everyone was let back inside the Nixa location.
"There's no need for that whatsoever," adds Isham. "I think it's kind of silly that someone would cause all this trouble for everybody."
enforcement confirm this is likely linked to similar evacuations across the
Nixa police said late Friday there were also similar incidents reported in Oklahoma.