Someone called 911 just before 5 p.m. on Tuesday to report that there was a person with a gun behind Target near a dumpster.
There was at least one report that gunshots may have been fired, possibly toward cars in the area.
When law enforcement officers arrived, they found nothing to substantiate the report: no damage, no bullets, no person.
GFPD reviewed surveillance video from Target and Albertsons and found no evidence of a person with a gun
However, they did see a suspicious vehicle on surveillance and later tracked down the driver; that person was being questioned as of 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
There is no word yet if the suspicious vehicle was connected to the report of a person with a gun.
The incident prompted a lot of questions and concern on the KRTV Facebook page, as dozens of people sent private messages and posted on our wall to ask about what was happening:
The incident also sparked at least one unfounded rumor.
Several hours after the scene was cleared, KRTV received the following message:
I have just been informed by a friend of mine asking me if I was safe at home because I usually have evening class at the college.. I don’t tonight.. but I was there during the lockdown. Anyways. I was informed that the ER is being over loaded at the current time and that there had been FOUR victims with gunshots from an active shooter in great Falls in the ER. And that they had to call in nurses for more help. Can you please look into this and see if this is valid information based upon earlier this evenings events.. and suspect never being “found”...
We will post an update if we get any new information.
(1st Report, Tuesday at 4:59 p.m.) Police officers are investigating reports of a man with a rifle behind the Target store in Great Falls.
The initial report was made just before 5 p.m. on Tuesday. There were unconfirmed reports that the man may have fired several shots, possibly toward cars.
At least five GFPD patrol vehicles have been seen rushing to the area. In addition, Montana Highway Patrol officers are at the scene. Many of the officers have their weapons drawn.
The shopping complex is on 10th Avenue South between 20th Street and 23rd Street.
We have received unconfirmed reports that the University of Providence - located directly south of the shopping center - has been placed on lockdown as a precaution.
Traffic in the area is extremely congested and blocked in some locations; people are advised to avoid the area if at all possible.
We have a reporter at the scene and will keep you updated as we get more information.