Brought to you by WBIW News and Network Indiana
Last updated on Tuesday, October 30, 2012
(EVANSVILLE) - A recent threat is being taken very seriously and now workers at local shelters are keeping a close watch on who comes through their doors.
WFIE reports, a man walked into the Evansville Salvation Army, threatening to shoot people inside. Then, staffers made a discovery that showed them this man could have easily done it.
Officials at the Salvation Army are used to encountering disgruntled visitors from time to time, but it was what they found inside a dumpster that has everyone on edge.
The Salvation Army opens its doors around 7 a.m. each morning to visitors looking to come inside for a cup of coffee.
This week, an unruly visitor made his way inside.
"They started to cause a disturbance," said EPD Sgt. Jason Cullum. "They were being rude to the staff and other folks that were in there getting breakfast, so that person was asked to leave."
Before leaving, police say, the man threatened to shoot people.
When a volunteer went to the dumpster in the parking lot, they found a gun and nine rounds of ammunition. So, officials with the Salvation Army checked their surveillance cameras.
"The person who had been their earlier had been out by the dumpster, but the video is not conclusive to show whether he placed the weapon there or not," Cullum said.
Gwen Rode has worked at the Salvation Army for 14 years and says that they serve people who are sometimes in crisis.
"There might be times I feel uncomfortable about someone yelling, but for the most part I don't feel threatened," Rode said. "Sometimes they may say things, it doesn't mean that they're really going to act on things"
The Salvation Army's security system relies on everyone watching out for one another.
"For the most part I think people do feel safe here," said Rode.
But finding a weapon just outside their doors is a reminder that not all threats are empty.
The staff at the Salvation Army says they are preparing for an influx in visitors with cold temperatures ahead.
They say a strong police presence in the area helps everyone feels safe as they anticipate serving more than 300 meals each day.
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