No parent will deny that back-to-school shopping can be a tense, unpleasant experience, but it was especially so for customers at a Michigan Walmart this week. Per WJBK and WCRZ, Novi officers say that four shoppers at the retailer’s Novi store—two women from Farmington Hills, ages 32 and 46, as well as a 51-year-old mom and her 20-year-old daughter—were browsing the shelves for back-to-school deals Monday when one of the Farmington women reached for the last notebook on a shelf. Cops tell the Detroit Free Press that the 20-year-old tried to grab the notebook at the same time. That’s when a ruckus broke out. The two Farmington Hills women allegedly started pulling the 20-year-old’s hair, and the younger woman’s mother apparently felt her protective instincts kick in.
Novi Police Detective Scott Baetens says the mom pulled out a gun, pointed it at the other women, and told them to lay off her daughter. As customers started fleeing the scene, the police were called and the situation apparently died down. Cops say the gun was loaded, though no round was in the chamber, and that the mother did have an up-to-date concealed pistol license. Baetens says after reviewing video footage of the incident, the case has been placed in the hands of the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office to see if they can determine who started the fight and if the gun holder acted in self-defense; all four women could face charges. “It was a senseless act of violence all the way around,” he adds. (Walmart had a related issue earlier this month: an apparent back-to-school gun display.)