Fact Check

Macon Mall Gang Initiation

Gang initiates in Macon must shoot a white female at the Macon Mall?

Published Sep 22, 2008

Claim:   Gang initiates in Macon, Georgia, must shoot a white female at the Macon Mall.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, September 2008]

My aunt, who lives in Dry Branch goes to church with a lady whose son works for the Macon Police Dept. She called her this morning and said that her son called her and told her that they are really trying to crack down on the Gang violence in Macon. Through their investigations they have found out that one of the gangs will be having initiation this week and the initiation is to shoot a white female at the Macon Mall. The officer said "Do not go to the mall this week, that he recommends not going at all, but especially not this week."


Origins:   This alert began appearing in inboxes in mid-September 2008. Like many other "initiates into a street gang must shoot a random person" scares (victims selected from those found in Wal-Mart parking lots or who provide directions when asked for them), the group being targeted is


Supposedly the rumor was started by a Macon, Georgia, police officer warning his mother about the gang initiation plot for that weekend, with that woman then telling a fellow churchgoer, who in turn told someone else, who then sent out the e-mail. The e-mailed warning was signed by an employee at Johnson County Middle/High School, a woman who told WMAZ-TV that she could not identify the Macon police employee whose information the heads-up was based on but asserted that she wouldn't have passed on the rumor if she hadn't believed it to be true.

Yet there appears to be nothing to the warning: The Macon Police Department has tried to trace this rumor but has been unable to locate its origin, and though the department received a number of phone calls and e-mails about the warning, as yet no one has been able to tell police anything concrete about it except that it was forwarded to them.

Lt. Eric Walker of the Macon Police Department said: "At the cost of numerous manpower hours, no one can be located to bring forth any information other than it was just an e-mail forwarded to them. The Macon Police Department Gang Unit continues to monitor the gang activity, but has come across no information to show that this is anything other than a hoax."

Barbara "macon a big fuss over nothing" Mikkelson

Last updated:   14 July 2011


    Corbett, Kari.   "Police Debunk Mall E-mail Threat."

    WMAZ-TV [Macon, GA].   17 September 2008.

    Joyner, Ashley.   "No Substantiation of E-mail That Threatens Shooting, Police Say."

    The [Macon] Telegraph.   17 September 2008.

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