False shooting reports circulate Cortland

UPDATED AT 10:00 P.M.

False reports of an active shooter Saturday evening at the Walmart on Rt. 13 in Cortlandville caused alarm among Cortland County residents and online social media sites.

The Cortland County Sheriff’s Office confirmed there was NO shooting at the retail store at 9:10 p.m. in an interview with The Cortland Voice.

At 6:23 p.m. an anonymous call was placed to Walmart reporting a person with a gun was inside the store, said Capt. Rob Derksen in a 9 p.m. news release.

No call was placed to the Cortland County 911 center, Lt. Todd Caufield noted in an interview.

Deputies were dispatched to Walmart, searched for the reported person and determined the report was false, according to Derksen and Caufield.

Walmart was evacuated during the search with the help of the store’s employees, Derksen said. The Cortland City Police Department and New York State Police assisted the Sheriff’s Office.

Walmart reopened after the incident, Derksen said.

The Sheriff’s office is investigating the false report and is looking to identify the caller, Caufield said.

The false report came amid national anxiety following last weekend’s mass shootings that killed 22 people at an El Paso Walmart and nine in Dayton, Ohio within 24 hours.

The Sheriff’s Office dispatch can be reached in regards to this incident at 607-753-3311.