Target Shopper Pulls Out Gun After Being Told to Wear Mask, Police Say

A shopper who was confronted for not wearing a mask has been arrested after brandishing a handgun, police say.

The suspect, identified as Mohamud Abdalla, was asked by two female employees to put a mask on after entering a Target store in Morgan Hill, in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The 27-year-old became agitated, police said, after he was approached by the two staff members. He then allegedly grabbed a weapon from his pocket.

Both Target employees feared for their safety and called 911, police reported, while Abdalla stayed in the store until officers arrived on the scene. He was booked into Santa Clara County's main jail.

Altercations between shoppers over the use of face masks have become a regular feature of the pandemic.

In May, video footage went viral of a mass argument in a store in Staten Island after a woman entered a branch of ShopRite without wearing a face covering.

In the clip a woman pushing a cart without a face mask is surrounded by people shouting "get the f*** outta here" and "get out," as customers repeatedly point towards the door.

A spokesperson for the store said at the time: "Preventing the spread of COVID-19 is a shared responsibility. At ShopRite, we continue to adhere to our sanitation and social distancing protocols to ensure our stores remain a safe place for associates and customers to work and shop.

"We are all in this together and we ask for everyone to be patient and understanding during this difficult time."

mask sign Rhode Island
A sign requiring a face mask at SpeakEasy Bar & Grill on May 09, 2020 in Newport, Rhode Island. Many shops and restaurants require people to wear face coverings. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

A month later, a viral video showed a man defying Walmart's mask policy in Florida, entering the store without a face covering and barging past a security guard.

He was filmed pushing the staff member before falling to the ground.

"You gotta wear a mask bro," said the person who captured the incident on video, which was posted on Twitter.

The man is seen getting up after falling down and continues to walk into the store as a security guard wearing a face mask attempts to block him.

The customer pushes the security guard into a basket of tomatoes and continues walking into the store before he is surrounded by three members of staff.

One Walmart worker says: "Sir, I need you out." The man ignores the representative and again continues into the store.

Walmart said in a statement to Newsweek at the time: "Maintaining customer and associate safety remains our top priority.

"We encourage customers to be especially mindful of one another during this unprecedented time and adhere to recommendations and decisions made by local officials regarding the use of protective facial coverings while in public spaces."