Gang initiation text is a hoax - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/19/09

Gang initiation text is a hoax

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A frightening text message makes its way around the country including Lubbock.  It describes gang activity and murder at a local Wal-Mart and some Lubbockites are concerned. Here, at NewsChannel 11we have also received this message and it's false. There are different variations of this text message with origins tracing back to 2005.

 But this old Wal-Mart hoax is causing new concern around the Hub City. "I called her and said is this a joke? She said no this is serious," says Anthony Carter, right after he pulled out of the Wal-Mart on the south loop. It's a hoax, but if you received the message, it's frightening to read. "I thought oh no I've got to go to Wal-Mart today and I didn't really want to come here," says shopper Janice Putnam.

Different variations of the message are spreading like wildfire through the Hub City. Warning folks not to go to Wal-Mart and that woman might be killed as part of gang initiation, moreover that Lubbock Police have confirmed it on television. "We have no credible threat at any Wal-Mart or any area stores," says Captain Greg Stevens with the Lubbock Police Department. 

Carter and his kids left Mom at home. "The text message said women so I told my kids let's go get what we need and we'll get on home," said Carter. But even as a joke, he says it's still alarming. "What's wrong with people's minds - even as a joke it's not funny," he adds.

"How can you be certain it's a hoax? I'll just have to believe the police but I just think everyone should be careful," said Putnam.  

"The safety and security of our customers and associates is our top priority. While we take these types of situations seriously, we regard this as being only a rumor," says Wal-Mart.

If you received the message LPD encourages you not to pass it on, they say it will only create more unnecessary fear.

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