Every parent is familiar with the stressful school shopping routine. Each fall, just prior to the start of the new school year, the kids need new outfits, jackets, backpacks, new kicks. Then, there’s the seemingly never-ending supply lists. Notebooks, pens, paper, erasers, five cartons of cartoons, six containers of sharpened pencils. What is the teacher going to do with all of those?
However, despite how stressful this last-minute shopping can be, it’s probably never worth pulling a gun out to fight over a notebook. The clearance $0.29 one, nonetheless, in an area that is abundant with stores in which parents can literally walk next door and purchase the same supplies.
It happened, anyway.
Two women at a Novi, Michigan, Walmart really wanted the same notebook. But, one evidently wanted it just a little more. So badly that when another shopped grabbed it first she pulled a gun from her pocket and demanded the woman fork it over. The incident happened at about 2:20 p.m. inside a location off of Grand River Avenue at Novi Road.
The whole ordeal was captured on witness’ cell phones, and of course, became an overnight internet sensation. The footage was also submitted to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office for review. Local media confirmed the residents were in fact school supply shopping.
Novi Police Detective Scott Baetens reported a woman, 51, and her daughter, 20, both of the neighboring town of South Lyon, were shopping at the store when “at some point in time, the 20-year-old woman had a disagreement with a 32-year-old woman from Farmington Hills about a notebook in the back-to-school aisle.” He added that the disagreement soon escalated to hair pulling and other means of “physical violence and the 51-year-old female pulled out a firearm and pointed it at who she perceived to be the aggressor, to break up the fight…She pulled out her firearm and tells them to stop attacking her daughter while pointing the gun at them.”
This isn’t very typical for the area, to say the least. Novi is an upper-middle class suburb and The Novi Towne Center consists of many well-known retail venues. The two women were from surrounding, also safe, family-oriented areas – Farmington Hills and South Lyon. These areas consist of numerous similar options for buying notebooks.
“Obviously this is an act of senseless violence on both sides,” Baetens said.
The gun is registered to its handler, and she has a valid concealed pistol license, so no arrests were made nor were any tickets issued while the office is reviewing the footage. Baetens said if charges are authorized against the women, they could range from assault to felonious assault with a firearm. “It could be anything,” he said. “It’s up to the Prosecutor’s Office.”
If a parent thinks school shopping is too stressful and would rather get into a physical altercation and pull a gun over the last notebook on the shelf than simply walk next door to purchase the exact same thing, who’s to say the student will make the effort to actually write in it?