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Police respond to complaint about man allegedly planning killing spree at Walmart

Police responded to a complaint Sunday night at a southside Circle K gas station of a 42-year-old man allegedly saying he was planning to go on a killing spree at an unspecified Walmart store. 

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office personnel located the suspect at the North Walnut Street Taco Bell. Bloomington Police Department took him to IU Health Bloomington Hospital for immediate detention and a mental evaluation, BPD Lt. John Kovach said. 

BPD officers responded at 9 p.m to a Circle K gas station after a 22-year-old complainant reported hearing the42-year-old making comments about his plans to go on a killing spree at Walmart. The complainant said the man appeared to be in his mid-30s and was wearing a blue sweatshirt. 

When the police went to talk to the Circle K gas station clerk, she said she hadn’t seen anyone in the store. Police said she confirmed hearing a man making comments about a Walmart killing spree. 

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office personnel located the man around 11 p.m. at the North Walnut Street Taco Bell. When questioned by BPD officers, the suspect admitted to making comments about the spree and being at the Circle K gas station. 

The suspect consented to BPD officers looking through his phone, Kovach said. Officers reportedly found texts he had not yet sent to his ex-girlfriend talking about the spree. 

The man told police he was upset about the recent breakup and also blamed voice dictation auto-correct for the texts. Kovach said after police continued questioning the suspect, he blamed his dark sense of humor and said he could understand how someone might misinterpret what he was saying. 

Kovach said the suspect then told officers even if the texts were accurate, he didn’t have any weapons that could be used. 

While the man was not arrested or charged with a crime, BPD officers took him to IU Bloomington Health for immediate detention and a mental evaluation. It is up to the individual hospital whether it carries out a mental evaluation on people the police bring to it, Kovach said. When BPD officers left, the suspect was in the hospital’s care .

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