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Man with BB gun triggers evacuation at Kingsport Walmart

Rain Smith • Jul 16, 2018 at 12:30 PM

KINGSPORT — A man believed to be on drugs incited alarm on Saturday at a Kingsport Walmart, forcing the evacuation of several departments by erratically walking the aisles with a replica handgun and seemingly struggling to get a round in the chamber.

Officers located Cody A. Williams, 21, in sporting goods and took him into custody without incident.

Kingsport police were dispatched to the Fort Henry Drive store by a 911 call shortly after 9 a.m. The complainant stated that a man was "waving a gun around in the parking lot." Responding officers were then flagged down by several Walmart patrons, all reporting the suspect was now inside and "pulling a gun out of a holster … trying to rack the slide."

When officers entered the store, customers directed them toward sporting goods. As police made their way there, they evacuated patrons and employees from other departments, ordering them to go outside.

Williams was found armed in the back of sporting goods and apparently trying to chamber a round into his handgun. Two officers converged on Williams with their weapons drawn and ordered him to place his hands in the air. He complied and was arrested.

Examination of Williams' weapon determined it was actually a BB gun with no orange tip. Police note that it was also a 1:1 replica of an actual handgun.

According to an incident report, once detained, Williams was observed to have constricted pupils, which is an indicator of using illegal narcotics. No direct statements from Williams or a motive are included in the arrest report, as his speech was erratic and incoherent. In total, five patrol officers and a watch commander responded to the incident.

Williams, address listed as Lightwood Street in Kingsport, is charged with imitation firearm display in public, disorderly conduct and public intoxication. He was booked into the city jail and was expected to be arraigned on Monday. He has also been banned from Walmart.

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