Sound of Tool Mistaken for Gunfire at Minneapolis Building

Updated: 11/16/2012 11:17 PM By: Scott Theisen

Minneapolis Police say they didn't find any evidence of a shooting Friday at a downtown office building after responding to a report of possible shots fired.

It appears the sound of a construction tool was mistaken for gunfire prompting a lockdown of the Retek building, which is part of Target's campus. It's located at 10th and Nicollet.

Minneapolis Police Sergeant Steve McCarty said someone thought they heard gunfire Friday morning. He said the call came in second-hand to a security officer.

Minneapolis Police searched the building for more than two hours and did not find any evidence or casings.

Around 1:30 p.m., Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau said the building was given an 'all-clear' and employees returned to work.

Five people initially heard the noise, which is being described as a 'popping sound.'

Police say a preliminary investigation indicated that maintenance workers were working on the upper floors. They were using a construction tool that mimicked the sound of gunfire. 

At least 15 squad cars responded to the scene, and the investigation was centered around the tenth floor.

Target employees were told to barricade themselves in their offices during the investigation.

Molly Snyder with Target released the following statement, "Around 11 a.m. this morning, there were reports of loud noises in the building located at 50 South Tenth Street where approximately 1,300 Target team members and contractors work.

The entire Target team is incredibly grateful that after a full sweep by law enforcement there is no evidence of any issue or injury.

As always, our primary focus is on the safety and wellbeing of our team members. We are thankful for the quick response of the local officers and to our team for their cooperation."

The University of St. Thomas downtown campus is located on the same block. The university put out a public safety alert.

The crowd in the area outside the building appeared to be calm during the investigation.