Chester Walmart evacuated after threat; SC agents on scene, cops say

A Chester Walmart was evacuated Friday morning after a threat was investigated at the store, police said.

All customers and employees at the store on the J.A Cochran Bypass were evacuated around 11 a.m. by Chester Police Department officers, said MaKeesharia Tobias, police department spokesperson.

A team from South Carolina’s State Law Enforcement Division searched the building and found no suspicious packages or threats, Tobias said.

Police later cleared the scene and the store reopened for employees, Tobias said.

The incident remains under investigation by Chester and South Carolina officials.

The Chester News & Reporter reported a SLED bomb squad and K-9 dog looking for a suspicious package cleared the scene after other nearby businesses also were evacuated during the incident.

Susan Robinson told The Herald she was on her way to Walmart when she saw the parking lot was blocked off by yellow tape.

“I went past it because I was planning to go to Walmart, and I thought there had been some sort of shooting,” she said. “It looked significant.”

She said there were about 100 cars in the parking lot, along with police and evacuated shoppers.

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Hannah Smoot reports on money and power for The Herald, covering York, Lancaster and Chester counties. She has been a reporter at The Herald since June 2017. Contact Hannah at 803-329-4068, hgsmoot@heraldonline.com or follow her on Twitter @hgsmoot.
Andrew Dys covers breaking news and public safety for The Herald, where he has been a reporter and columnist since 2000. He has won 51 South Carolina Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, race, justice, and people. He is author of the book “Slice of Dys” and his work is in the U.S. Library of Congress.