FARMINGTON — A Vermont man in the Walmart parking lot, who reportedly claimed to have access to guns and ammunition, was taken into protective custody Tuesday night, police Chief Kenneth Charles said.

Charles said a call was received about 4:30 p.m. from a person in California reporting concerning statements they received from a person in the Walmart parking lot at 615 Wilton Road. The caller reported the unnamed 58-year-old man claimed he had access to guns and ammunition and posed a risk to himself and others.

The store was ordered to lock down out of an abundance of caution and officers were able to take the man into custody within minutes and without incident, Charles said. The man was admitted to Franklin Memorial Hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Many inside the Walmart store and loved ones of those inside took to social media sharing the incident. Several said responding departments were asked to cut their sirens a half-mile from the store.

“I was inside when they locked us down,” Farmington resident Sarah Rose said on a Facebook post in the Farmington NEEDS group. “I was so scared and had a panic attack … it was awful.”

Another Facebook user named Stagecoach Mary shared that she led her children into a back bathroom to wait out the lockdown.

“My daughter was calling me from inside the store telling me they were making them hide in the back of the store and didn’t know why,” Wilton resident Michelle Carter said in a post in the Farmington, Maine Area: News & Community group.

Chief Charles said police continue to communicate with the man’s hometown in Vermont to establish his history.

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