Text messages that flooded cell phones in Carson City this week, warning of a gang initiation at Wal-Mart, are a hoax that began with an e-mail from July 2005.
Carson City Sheriff's Patrol and Gang Sgt. Mark Marshall said officers first heard of the text messages Wednesday, after students in Reno contacted police there.
Carson City Sheriff's School Deputy Scott Davis said the text message appears to be a variation on a hoax from 2005 that is documented at urban legend debunking Web sites such as Snopes.com.
It was being forwarded throughout Carson City schools and made its way to parents by Thursday afternoon.
A version of the text message being passed around Carson City says, "Do not go to any walmart tonight. Gang initiation to shoot 3 women tonight. Not sure which walmart. And confirmed on tv. fwd to all girls."
"It's a hoax," said Davis.
Law enforcement in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Missouri also have been discounting the same rumor this week.