ABINGTON, Mass. — An employee of a Stop and Shop in Abington will appear in court for threatening a mass shooting at the store, 25 Investigates has learned.
As investigative reporter Ted Daniel uncovered, there was a delay in alerting law enforcement.
According to the police report, management at the Centre Street stored waited more than five hours to notify police that a frustrated employee had threatened to get a gun and “kill everyone” on June 15th.
The redacted police report does not include the employee’s name. But it says coworkers heard him say he was “going to go home, get a gun and come back and kill everyone.”
The document goes on to say the employee was aggravated because he “was having trouble punching in” after lunch.
Store management became aware of the threat at 11:30 a.m. according to the report. But the first call to police wasn’t made until 4:55 p.m.
William Flynn, a former deputy assistant for Infrastructure Protection at the Department of Homeland Security, says a delay of any kind is “totally inexcusable.”
Flynn cofounded The Power of Preparedness, a company that provides active shooter training to the private sector.
“Unfortunately, in this society we’re living in the individuals involved with these things generally go in to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible, and certainly that may not have been the case here. But the threat was made and threat has to be dealt with seriously,” Flynn said.
According to the police report, the employee lives with his father, a legal gun owner. The father told police his “firearms are locked away” and his son “did not have access” to them.
Police asked Stop and Shop about the reporting delays. A store manager stated, “the matter was brought up to the company’s corporate office” and there were “steps and protocols followed” before the store was advised to alert police.
A Stop and Shop spokesperson said in part in a statement: “Stop & Shop takes these matter extremely seriously, and we have a zero-tolerance policy for this type of threat. This Associate is no longer employed at Stop & Shop. Our store team moved swiftly to manage the situation and to contact local law enforcement.”
There are no state or federal laws that require companies to report threats of workplace violence to law enforcement in a specific time.
Employers do have a legal obligation to provide a safe workplace, according to OSHA.
The employee will be summoned to court to determine if criminal charges are appropriate.
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