Examples: [Collected via e-mail, October 2008]
Please pass this along to everyone that you know. I apologize for this interruption in your day, but felt the need to make this known. Please be careful!
If you are or in the area between Detroit and Flint there is an unconfirmed warning to all females to avoid purchasing gas. A Detroit police officer who works in the gang enforcement department released info that a Detroit gang is initiating new members and has requested that the potential new comers shoot a female in the head while pumping gas. This gang is known for performing their initiations in the areas north of Detroit and many times in Flint.
This warning was distributed at Flint area universities which is how I was informed as my sister is going to
Even if it is false what does it hurt to be cautious for the next few days and avoid buying gas if you can or spoil yourself and use a full service gas pump.
Origins: This alert began appearing in inboxes in
This rumor about Detroit-area gang initiates shooting women at gas stations began to circulate via
The head of Flint 911 says the decision to do so was made with direction from police. And given the same set of circumstances, it would be handled the same way again.
The call went out via a Genesee County Central Dispatch shift supervisor at
"Especially females getting gas," the call came. "We have information that gang members are coming in from Detroit for an initiation, supposed to be shooting at females at gas stations today."
It was a call heard by anyone listening to a police scanner tuned to that frequency.
Throughout the day, the gist of the rumor spread through
In Genesee County, some schools took security measures. Flint schools kept kids inside for recess, locked all exterior doors and canceled evening activities.
Flint police dispatchers broadcast an alert over the police dispatch system, alerting officers to the rumor about women being targeted at gas stations. When contacted by The Flint Journal, a police official said that they were repeating an alert given to them, and that they did not know the source of the information.
Genesee County Prosecutor David S. Leyton this afternoon said nothing about the rumor has been substantiated and said his advice to citizens is the same as it is every day: "Be alert and vigilant at all times. Today is no different than any other day."
Stephen Todd, the head of Flint's 911 dispatch center, says his crew got word of the "rumor" from Flint police officers on the overnight shift.
"We actually received the directive to go ahead with broadcast from a police command person," he said.
"And in a city where violence is not unknown, we felt we had to take as many precautions as possible."
No police agency in the area could confirm the threat.
My aunt, a nurse at a local children's hospital, was just informed by a North
A NEW NORTH LAS VEGAS GANG'S INITIATION RITES INCLUDE SHOOTING A WOMAN WHO IS ALONE PUMPING GAS. SO FAR AT LEAST
Last updated: 14 July 2011
Dougovito, Lori. "Gang Threat Rumor Creates Panic in Flint." WJRT-TV [Saginaw, MI]. 2 October 2008. Ewing, Tia. "Text Message Hoax Shakes Up Mid-Michigan." WEYI-TV [Clio, MI]. 1 October 2008. The Flint Journal. "Internet Hoax About Gang Targeting Women at Genesee County Gas Stations Sparking Panic." 1 October 2008.