Walmart on Collins Road evacuated, temporarily closed for police activity

The Walmart Supercenter on Collins Road near I-295 on Jacksonville’s Westside was evacuated Saturday evening and temporarily closed because of police activity. According to at least one witness, around 4 p.m., about a dozen law enforcement vehicles, including Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and Florida Highway Patrol cars, swarmed the parking lot and then officers on foot with K9s went into the Walmart.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Walmart Supercenter on Collins Road near I-295 on Jacksonville’s Westside was evacuated Saturday evening and temporarily closed because of police activity.

Police have not said exactly what happened inside and around the store on Collins Road.

According to witnesses around 4 p.m., about a dozen law enforcement vehicles, including Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and Florida Highway Patrol cars, swarmed the parking lot and then officers on foot with K9s went into the Walmart.

News4Jax spoke with several people who were inside the store as everything was happening.

Some people said they saw police chasing someone, while others ran out of the store without a clue about what was happening.

Dawn Schattenberg does pickups for this Walmart.

She saw someone run out of the store, being chased by a handful of other officers.

“He came barreling out of the curbside pick-up doors,’ Schattenberg said.

“He came running out there, and took off across between two of the big storage containers, and jumped the gate toward I-295.”

Schattenberg said she saw officers detain that person along a ramp that leads onto the interstate.

Another person inside the store tells News4JAX she saw someone tackled by officers in a nearby aisle.

Jamaiah Bowman was shopping inside the store with her spouse and two young kids when the store had to evacuate.

Bowman said she overheard workers being told over their 2-way radio devices they needed to leave the store on three different occasions.

A few minutes later, Bowman said an announcement was made over the intercom in the entire store that EVERYONE needed to leave immediately.

“You saw them running, you saw all of the other customers running. Everyone was running toward the door,” Bowman said.

“I feel like we were not valued in that instance. The kids were not valued. It was all about their employees.”

The Walmart reopened just before 6 p.m.

The Gate gas station in front of the Walmart was also evacuated and closed for about an hour during the investigation.

Police were also seen at a crash on Collins Road about a quarter mile from the I-295-Collins interchange, but it’s unclear how that is related to the investigation at the Walmart, if at all.

News4JAX asked police if this was connected to what happened at the store and were told they could not answer that question.

We did hear back from a Walmart spokesperson that said:

“We don’t have any comment on the situation, as it was a police matter, and refer you to the police report for information.”

News4Jax has reached out to JSO for an explanation of what happened in the area and have not heard back.

Police investigate a crash on Collins Road (WJXT)

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