Tasers deployed by Albertville Police at the Hobby Lobby Tuesday during the lunch hour sent shoppers scrambling and reporting possible shots fired.
Just before noon, calls received by Albertville Police reported a man inside the Hobby Lobby with a gun. Soon after, more calls that shots had been fired and an ambulance was needed were fielded by officers.
Albertville Police Chief Jamie Smith said a man panhandling and harassing customers in PetsMart and Hobby Lobby led to the police being called to the scene.
“He wasn’t cooperative at all,” Smith said. “He was told to leave and became combative. That is when officers deployed Tasers on him.”
Smith said no one was injured in the incident and no gunshots were actually fired.
“When a Taser goes off, there is a definite pop or distinctive sound associated with it,” Smith said. “Shoppers must have heard that and thought it was a gunshot.”
Assistant Police Chief J.T. “Butch” Cartee said the man, who officers believe may have been recently released from the Marshall County Jail but was refusing to give his name at the scene, was arrested and taken to the Albertville City Jail. He is likely to face resisting arrest and disorderly conduct charges.
“There was no shooting at the store,” Cartee said.
At least five APD patrol vehicles, an Albertville Fire engine, ambulance and command vehicle arrived on scene, but were released a short time later.
All stores remained open for business after all frightened customers had been accounted for.