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Katy-area shopping centers will have extra police presence due to rumored threat

A viral tweet from earlier in the week has some people worried about shopping this weekend, but the sheriff's office says "there is no threat."

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — Deputies will provide extra patrols in Katy-area shopping centers during the tax-free weekend after rumors of a threat made the rounds on social media, Constable Wayne Thompson says.

Fort Bend County Constable Pct. 3 posted to Nextdoor late Thursday that the threat, which allude to the possibility of an active shooter event like the one in El Paso, are unsubstantiated. Thompson says he conferred with Katy police about the online rumors.

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Despite there being no proof of a real threat, deputies will step up their patrols, Thompson posted:

“Regardless, I have directed our staff to provide an extra presence in commercial areas over the weekend due to the increase in shoppers as a result of the Tax Free Weekend. We make every effort to ensure your safety but you must also be an active participant in your safety. If you hear or see strange behavior, suspicious persons or activity, please notify law enforcement immediately via 911. You are our eyes and ears. Thank you, Wayne Thompson.”

Earlier this week a rumor made the rounds on Twitter, alleging that a Walmart store in Katy had received a threat note of a shooting. Since it was posted on Monday the tweet has had more than 2,000 retweets and 1,600 likes.

The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the tweet, saying “there is no credible threat” and that it isn’t uncommon for individuals to post things online to see what kind of reaction they can create.

“There is no threat,” the sheriff’s office added.