Police give the all clear after report of shots in Minneapolis buildingby Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio,
Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio,
Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Minneapolis police have given the all clear after officers found no evidence to support a report of shots fired at a downtown office building.
Acting Police Chief Janee Harteau, speaking at a news conference at 1:30 p.m., said police arrived shortly before 11 a.m. and conducted a thorough search of the 11-story building. Employees were told to remain in their offices.
The incident happened at the Retek Building, part of the Target Corporation campus on the south end of the mall. Five people on the 10th floor reportedly heard a loud bang, and called security in the building. Security called 911 and summoned police.
Police said a handful of people in a conference room reported hearing the sound, which was described as a single loud pop.
The police department released a statement Friday afternoon indicating that the sound may have come from maintenance workers on the upper floors of the building.
"Workers were using a construction tool that mimicked the sound of gun fire," the statement said.
Harteau said employees did the right thing by calling police.
''Until we can disprove something occurred, we have to be really thorough,'' she said.
Drew Stattine, who said he was on the 10th floor when the incident occurred, said there was an announcement over the P.A. system at around 11 a.m. saying that there was an active shooter and law enforcement was on the way.
About 20 minutes later, someone on the P.A. system instructed employees to barricade themselves in their offices, Stattine said.
While the search was underway, police officers and building security checked in with employees every ten or 15 minutes until they were given the all-clear, he said.
The incident comes just seven weeks after a workplace related shooting at Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis killed seven people, including the suspected killer, who shot himself.
Harteau said officers would have responded the same way regardless of the Accent Signage shooting.
Madeleine Baran is a general assignment reporter for MPR News.
Tim Nelson is a general assignment reporter for MPR News.