Target "Active Shooter" Was Just "Big, Bearded Man" Protesting Inclusive Bathrooms

Source: Flickr
Source: Flickr

Police responded to a 911 call of an active shooter situation inside a Bradley, Illinois, Target on Monday afternoon to instead find an unarmed man causing panic among customers. 

Michael Merichko, 39, was taken into custody for disorderly conduct after protesting the retail giant's nationwide bathroom policy, which allows employees and customers to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. 

According to a Chicago Patch report, the store was "surrounded by heavily armed police Monday afternoon in search of a gunman, but no armed man was found. Police did find a big, bearded man who has issues with Target's toilet rules."

On April 19, the company issued a statement clarifying its own restroom and fitting room policies, which fly in the face of the anti-transgender laws enacted in states like North Carolina recently.

"We believe that everyone — every team member, every guest and every community — deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally," the company wrote. "We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity."

Read more: President Obama Just Denounced North Carolina's "Bathroom Bill"

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Chris Riotta

Chris Riotta is a culture reporter at Mic, covering news, music and entertainment. He is based in New York and can be reached at criotta@mic.com

MORE FROM

Video shows officer threatening black man for jaywalking without an ID

The officer is not currently under investigation.

Black teens handcuffed for selling water on National Mall are now getting job offers

"I feel like it was a bad situation turned into a good situation."

3 of the Central Park 5 men just received honorary high school diplomas

All of the men in the Central Park Five will receive the diplomas they were denied after their wrongful convictions as teenagers.

Another sign marking a scene from Emmett Till's murder has been vandalized

It's at least the second time in the past year a sign marking Till's murder has been vandalized.

South Carolina woman faces charges for ripping Confederate battle flag off driver's truck

The woman reportedly backed into the owner's truck, then fled the scene.

These amazing photos marking the end of Ramadan show how Muslims are celebrating Eid al-Fitr

Twitter users flooded social media with selfies and family snaps.

Video shows officer threatening black man for jaywalking without an ID

The officer is not currently under investigation.

Black teens handcuffed for selling water on National Mall are now getting job offers

"I feel like it was a bad situation turned into a good situation."

3 of the Central Park 5 men just received honorary high school diplomas

All of the men in the Central Park Five will receive the diplomas they were denied after their wrongful convictions as teenagers.

Another sign marking a scene from Emmett Till's murder has been vandalized

It's at least the second time in the past year a sign marking Till's murder has been vandalized.

South Carolina woman faces charges for ripping Confederate battle flag off driver's truck

The woman reportedly backed into the owner's truck, then fled the scene.

These amazing photos marking the end of Ramadan show how Muslims are celebrating Eid al-Fitr

Twitter users flooded social media with selfies and family snaps.