Police seeking man who threatened Washington County Wal-Mart

| Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, 1:57 p.m.

Washington County authorities are searching for a Houston man they suspect made calls on Christmas Eve in which he threatened to shoot and blow up a Wal-Mart in South Strabane, reportedly because he was angry about the store's return policy.

Charles Martin, 24, is wanted on unrelated charges by the Washington County Adult Probation Office, and charges from Tuesday's incident likely will be filed soon, said John Bruner, a South Strabane police officer.

Police said a man called Wal-Mart's customer service department about 8 a.m. and said he was upset with a transaction.

“He made some threats that he was going to shoot the place up and made reference to using explosives,” Bruner said. “In today's age, with there having been a rise in mass-shooter instances, we must take this very seriously.”

Nine law enforcement agencies responded to the incident.

“We flooded and secured the area,” Bruner said.

Anyone with information on Martin's whereabouts is asked to call 911, Bruner said.

“We suspect he's the individual who made the threats,” Bruner said. “We were able to get some information and connect the dots.”

Police believe the threat was quelled but want to locate Martin to be sure.

The store at the Trinity Point shopping center remained open after the incident.

Jason Cato is a Trib Total Media staff writer. He can be reached at 412-320-7936 or jcato@tribweb.com.

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