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Vernal police called to Wal-Mart after concealed permit holder reacts to 'loud bang'

Published: Monday, Aug. 11 2014 12:00 p.m. MDT

Updated: Monday, Aug. 11 2014 12:41 p.m. MDT

In this May 9, 2013 photo, a worker pushes shopping carts in front of a Walmart store in La Habra, Calif. Vernal police responded to reports Friday night that a man had fired shots outside Wal-Mart and then gone inside. Officers later determined that a man with a concealed weapons permit had drawn his gun after hearing a "loud bang."

Jae C. Hong, AP

VERNAL — Seeking to calm fears sparked by rumors circulating on social media, Vernal police said Monday that no shots were fired Friday night outside Wal-Mart.

Officers were called about 6:30 p.m. Friday to Wal-Mart, 1851 W. Hwy. 40, on a report that shots had been fired, Assistant Vernal Police Chief Keith Campbell said in a statement. Police were told a man wearing a blue shirt and shorts fired a pistol in the parking lot and then went inside the store.

Some shoppers said officers moved through the parking lot with their guns drawn. Police also entered the store, according to witnesses, but did not appear to leave with anyone in custody.

Several people were interviewed, Campbell said, and officers determined that no shots had been fired.

"Two witnesses heard a bang and one of them was a concealed weapon permit holder that deployed his gun," the assistant chief said. "A witness observed the individual with the gun and assumed that he was the individual that fired a shot."

Campbell said police do not know what caused the "loud bang."

— Geoff Liesik

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