Sumter Walmart closes after looting rumor spreads on social media


The Walmart Supercenter on Broad Street closed at 5:30 p.m. Monday in response to what have been rumors spread on social media of a riot planned for the mega-store.

The store had been limiting hours to 8:30 p.m. in response to the pandemic caused by COVID-19,

Vehicles, both marked and unmarked, from Sumter Police Department, S.C. Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies were heavily scattered around the building as the doors remained shut and employees gathered at the window.

People sat intermittently in their vehicles in the parking as other people could be seen sitting on their tailgates filling the end of the Dollar Tree parking lot, which overlooks the Walmart parking lot.

Law enforcement agencies in Sumter have said in previous situations they must take social media threats seriously, such as Snapchats predicting school shootings. For this, too, they must take any threat of violence seriously.

Both the city and county agencies in Sumter said they have been aware of the post spreading across social media.

An officer in front of Walmart Monday evening said the store plans to reopen at 7 a.m. Tuesday.