Gang initiation email untrue, police say - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Gang initiation email untrue, police say

By Jason Plank - email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis Police say an email being forwarded in Memphis and surrounding areas warning of possible gang initiation dangers is likely untrue.

The emails usually mention a possible gang initiation that will be taking place at a Wal-Mart store, saying that three women and three children (sometimes the numbers vary) will be shot.

The email also asks readers to forward it on to others.

This week, Action News 5 has received variations of this email forward from dozens of viewers, all asking the same question:  Is the threat real?  Via email, Memphis Police spokesperson Monique Martin gave this response:

"Memphis Police can confirm that there are no facts to substantiate a gang initiation rumor to be true," Martin said. "To our knowledge, this rumor has circulated by email and text since 2005."

Wal-Mart's corporate office says the message is phony, and is apparently similar to previous mass-messaging campaigns.

When WMC-TV 5 sister station KAIT8 contacted Wal-Mart about the message, the company released the following statement:

"The safety and security of our customers and associates is our top priority. We are aware of the message being circulated and are working with local authorities to enhance our security efforts at our stores in the area. While we take these types of situations seriously, we regard this as being only a rumor, much like similar rumors that have circulated via e-mail in previous years."

Urban Legends Reference Pages, located online at, has a detailed account of the Wal-Mart threat, dating back several years.  Click here for more information.

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