MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) – Minneapolis police gave the all clear Friday as they say they found no evidence of any gunshots fired, bullets or victims after there was a report of shots fired that morning at a downtown Minneapolis office building.
The report of shots fired came from the Retek Building, according to Sgt. McCarty with the Minneapolis Police Department. Police responded to the scene at around 11 a.m. The building, located on 10th Street South and Nicollet Mall, had been put on lockdown as police responded. The lockdown has since been lifted.
A preliminary investigation showed that maintenance workers were working on the upper floors, using a construction tool that mimicked the sound of gun shots, police said.
“After a search, we’ve found no evidence of any kind of shots fired or any shooting. There are no victims, no suspects, nothing to indicate there was shots fired,” said Acting Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau.
Authorities take any call of possible shots seriously.
“There’s been times when some people have heard shots and others don’t, so we always want to err on the side of caution,” Harteau said
When searching the building, authorities said they focused on the 10th and 11th floors. A number of squad cars were seen on 10th Street and Nicollet Mall just before noon.
A worker at the building said that employees were locking themselves in their offices, and that sirens were warning people of a possible active shooter inside the building.
“None of us really panicked,” one woman said after being let out of the building. “The doors were locked. It was just the waiting.”
Target Communications said they were encouraging employees at the Retek Building to stay inside the building. Target spokeswoman Jessica Deede said the company was “focused on taking care of our team” and deferred questions to police.
Jeff Buchanan owns a sales and marketing business with his office inside the Retek. He said the incident was frightening.
“A lot of people were upset by it, because it’s kind of scary,” he said.
“They were just communicating over the P.A to get into a locked room,” said Mark Maghrak, a worker inside the building.
Outside, loved ones with no answers were concerned. Many kept in contact with family and friends via cell phone.
“She’s just stuck in there, and yeah, I just came down from work and try to see if she’s alright, I guess,” said Andrew Baumann, whose girlfriend was inside the building.
The 11-story building formerly known as Retek on the Mall sits on a busy corner of downtown Minneapolis, bordered on one side by the pedestrian Nicollet Mall. Last March the retailing giant signed a lease to take over all of its office space, according to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. A flagship Target store is immediately across the street.
Minneapolis Police put on a mock terrorism training drill in January of 2010. WCCO-TV was invited to the building next to the Retek building for the drill. The exercise was designed to evaluate how well police responded to a shooter.
So, what would you do if you found yourself in the middle of an active shooting spree?
Larry Yatch, a retired Navy Seal, runs a personal protection training studio. Yatch says you should first create distance or simply run. If you can’t get away, he suggests creating a barricade.
“The critical aspect to hiding is finding a place that stops bullets so you can’t get injured, yet still provides a secondary means of escape,” he said.
(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)