The request came on the heels of dozens of violent crimes on city streets where toy, pellet and BB guns were used, according to police. In one case last spring, a teen was shot after he pointed a replica at two police officers.
In a letter to the store manager, Minneapolis Lt. David Hayhoe wrote that one of the replica guns was bought at the store by a juvenile gang member caught with the weapon the same day outside a Northeast Minneapolis school.
"The reason that it was purchased, according to the investigators, was for some sort of on-going gang situation that was developing," he said. "We were glad that replica was recovered without anybody getting injured."
Hayhoe said he is grateful K-Mart agreed to his request to reconsider its policy on selling replica guns. The store in question is located just down the street from the 5th police precinct.
"We're very happy, we're hopeful that that will deter and slow down the use of these replica guns in the city," said Hayhoe.
A corporate representative from K-Mart released this statement: "K-Mart strives to meet distribution guidelines imposed by each state or local municipality in the sale of toy guns and at the request of the local police department K-Mart will remove these guns from this store location as soon as possible."
The representative told WCCO-TV that K-Mart does not plan to pull replicas from other stores in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, including St. Paul, that also have city ordinances banning their use in public.
In a statement from St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington regarding replica guns, "The St. Paul Police Department is disappointed that this policy is not being applied more broadly and we'll be asking to meet with the owners to discuss our concern shortly."