OUTAGAMIE COUNTY — A man charged after allegedly making threats the resulted in the closure of the Fox River Mall in Grand Chute on December 27th will stand trial.
28-year-old Christopher Hawkins was in court Tuesday, January 17th for his preliminary hearing. His arraignment was set for February 13th.
Hawkins was arrested on December 28th in Minnesota.
Business was back to normal at the Fox River Mall, but one day prior, there was a large police presence at the Fox River Mall in Grand Chute amid reports of a person in the mall with a gun. It was later determined there was NO THREAT to the mall.
Several employees inside the mall told WLUK they were told to evacuate on December 27th. The evacuation was ordered shortly after 6:00 p.m.
Investigators told WLUK family members called police and said a man could be at Fox River Mall with a gun. Family members said the man was suicidal and had a gun. No threat was found at the mall.
The mall was placed under lockdown as a precaution. Some employees stayed inside — but they were told to shelter in place.
The mall would remain closed.
According to WLUK, the criminal complaint indicates this all began with an argument between Hawkins and his girlfriend in an Appleton parking ramp — at the Copper Leaf Hotel, according to WBAY.
According to WBAY, the complaint indicates Hawkins pulled a handgun and threatened to kill himself. Hawkins then told his girlfriend he was going to Chicago and left.
Hawkins and his girlfriend reconnected on the phone, and Hawkins told the girlfriend he was going to “shoot up” the Copper Leaf Hotel and that he would kill himself, according to the complaint.
The girlfriend received another call from Hawkins, who said he was in the parking lot of the Fox River Mall and he was going to “shoot up the mall and she might as well call the police.”
During this time, Hawkins told his girlfriend, “I guarantee by the end of the night someone is going to die,” according to the complaint.
The criminal complaint does not state that Hawkins was ever actually at the Fox River Mall.
According to WBAY, Hawkins’ phone pinged in western Wisconsin ahead of his arrest in Minnesota.
“Once we realized he crossed the border over to Minnesota, we reached out to the local FBI office in Green Bay, requested some assistance in taking him into custody. They ran with it, and were able to locate him in a parking lot of a business in Hennepin County, Minnesota, and were able to take him into custody without incident,” Grand Chute Officer Travis Waas told WBAY.