No weapon found after call of shots fired at Bourbonnais Target

A man protesting Target’s transgender bathroom policy caused a disturbance that led to an active shooter response at a store in downstate Bourbonnais on Monday afternoon, though the man did not have a gun, police said later.

Police received a call at 12:59 p.m. that someone had opened fire inside the store at 1650 N. Rte. 50 in Bourbonnais, according to police in neighboring Bradley.

Officers found 39-year-old Michael L. Merichko outside the store and he was arrested without incident, police said. No shots had been fired; no weapon was found; and no one was hurt.

“We are still looking into how the call came out as an active shooter,” a police statement said.

Merichko caused a disturbance inside the store while condemning Target’s bathroom policy, police said.

The corporation allows employees and customers to use bathrooms and fitting rooms that correspond with their gender identities.

He caused a “panic among store employees and customers” but never threatened to shoot anyone, police said.

Merichko was charged with disorderly conduct and transferred to the Jerome Combs Detention Center in Kankakee.