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Panic in a matter of minutes: False post of active shooter at Newnan Walmart causes uproar in the community

The call caused such concern that emergency lines were tied up and officers moved from their duties - all for something that wasn't even true.

NEWNAN, Ga. — A recent post on Facebook claiming there was an active shooter at the Walmart in Newnan led to panic both online - and off. 

Now, investigators are looking into what led to the post - and they're looking for who put it online in the first place.

"Everyone in Coweta County or surrounding areas you need to lock down!!!" the since-deleted post said. "Active shooter at the Walmart in Newnan."

Those two sentences posted on social media - less than a week after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, led to a panic in a matter of minutes around Coweta County.

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Dashcam video shows one of several officers rushing to Newnan's Walmart on Wednesday.

"Knowing how freshly it happened at El Paso and, now, they was putting it here - I think it was the timing of the event because it was just a few days in between," Newnan Police Chief Douglas Meadows said.

Meadows hasn't released the name of the two adults officers have questioned about the post, but the chief said it put lives at risk when officers went into an emergency response mode.

"These actions caused multiple police cars to run emergency equipment, to place the general public at dangers as well as the officers," Meadows said. "And innocent bystanders were also placed in danger upon officers arrival due to a heightened level of response due to a possible shooter."

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At the Walmart, though, officers only found business as usual. The false Facebook post led to people tying up dispatchers at the county 911 Center, sheriff's office and police station.

Newnan Police quickly took to Facebook to let the public know they investigated and found no active shooter.

"This is not occurring. We do not have an active shooter event ongoing anywhere in the county," the Coweta County Sheriff's Office also posted.

Police are still trying to learn if the poster - or posters - meant to cause a panic. Depending on their intentions, Meadows said criminal charges could be filed against them.

"Don't spread rumor and gossip," he said. "It could endanger other people's lives needlessly."

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