Suspect in Fox River Mall threats arrested in Minnesota

Posted at 6:46 PM, Dec 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-29 23:33:23-05


The Grand Chute Police Department has confirmed that 28-year-old Christopher Hawkins, the suspect in the Fox River Mall threat, is in custody.

According to a criminal complaint, Hawkins threatened to "shoot up" the Fox River Mall and an Appleton hotel before fleeing the area on Tuesday, December 27.

Officers from several area law enforcement agencies, including the Appleton Police Department, Outagamie County Sheriff's Department and the Wisconsin Sate Patrol assisted with the evacuation of the Fox River Mall.

During the incident, many people locked themselves in rooms and hid until they were notified that the area was secure.

The complaint reveals that Hawkins had been in an argument with his girlfriend the night of the threat, which prompted an evacuation of the mall.

Hawkins' girlfriend reportedly called the Grand Chute Police Department after the two were involved in an argument at the Copper Leaf Hotel. 

Hawkins' girlfriend stated that he pulled out a handgun and said he was going to kill himself.

She says Hawkins then announced he was going to Chicago and left.

Afterwards, she says she spoke with Hawkins again on the phone when Hawkins said he was going to "shoot up" the Copper Leaf Hotel. 

Hawkins' reportedly said he would kill himself, but he would not go without her.

The complainant reports Hawkins' girlfriend received another phone call stating that he was in the mall parking lot and threatening to "shoot up" the mall. 

Hawkins reportedly told her she might as well call the police. 

"I guarantee by the end of the night someone is going to die," Hawkins said, according to the complaint.

After Hawkins' girlfriend reported the incident to the police, authorities were able to identify him through the use of in-house records. 

Investigators learned Hawkins had crossed the border from Wisconsin to Minnesota, and at that time Grand Chute Police requested the assistance of the FBI.

Hawkins was found in a parking lot and arrested without incident. He was taken to the Hennepin County Jail in Minnesota. 

Hawkins is facing a charge for making terrorist threats with the use of a dangerous weapon. 

Hawkins is currently being held on a weapons charge in the Hennepin County Jail in Minneapolis.

The Outagamie County district attorney is working on Hawkins’s extradition back to Wisconsin.

Grand Chute Police also issued a thank you to the community via Facebook for cooperating during the incident. 


Grand Chute Police are currently looking for a man who they believe is armed and dangerous after an incident at the Fox River Mall. 
Police say just after 6:00 p.m., multiple agencies responded to the mall for reports that a male subject was inside a car in the parking lot with a firearm. The person who called police said the man with the gun allegedly told them to call police because he was going to start shooting. 
When officers arrived and searched the parking lot, they could not find the subject.
Then, officers report they went into the mall to search for the man.
Police say due to the seriousness of the threat, the decision was made to evacuate the mall.
After the search was complete, police did not find the man.
Grand Chute Police say they later received more information that the man left the area.
Police say they are in the process of obtaining legal authority to continue tracking the suspect's phone so they can hone in on his precise location. 
The Grand Chute Police Department confirms the phone last pinged somewhere on the west side of the state. 
The subject has been identified as Christopher C. Hawkins, a 28 year-old black man. He is 5’9, 150 lbs. with short hair and a goatee. Police say Hawkins often wears a diamond stud earring in his right ear and a tan two-tone hat with a tag on top. He is believed to be armed and dangerous and may be experiencing mental health issues. 
Authorities say the suspect's vehicle is white with dark tined windows and no license plate. 
If you see Hawkins, call police immediately. Anyone with information about his location should contact Grand Chute Police at 920.832.1575 or text “GCPD” and your tip to 847411 to remain anonymous. 
The Grand Chute Police Department says they have also increased their presence at the Fox River Mall. 


The Grand Chute Police Department confirms the Fox River Mall was evacuated as a precautionary measure following a threat.

According to police officers, they received a report from someone who said a family member in the mall had told them a man with a gun had threatened to start shooting. 

Police are still searching for the suspect, but they say there is no indication the suspect was ever actually in the mall or that a disturbance actually occurred.

The mall was evacuated as a precautionary measure and an announcement was relayed over the mall's PA system.

Police are now doing a secondary sweep to make sure everyone is evacuated, but they do not believe anyone is in danger at this time. 

Valley Transit has announced bus routes will not be serving the Fox River Mall area due to this incident.