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Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) -  What was reported as an armed robbery attempt at a Rochester fast-food restaurant Monday was an apparent hoax by some teenagers.

But a senior member of the Rochester Police Dept. says it was “an extremely dangerous situation.”

Officers were sent to the Taco John’s store at the corner of 11th Ave and 7th St NW around 7:15 pm. They were told two young males had placed an order at the drive-through. When their vehicle reached the service window, the two were wearing ski masks and one of them pointed a gun at the employee. The 17-year-old employee fell to the floor and several shots were heard.

Turns out the rifle was a paintball gun and several rounds were fired through the service window. The vehicle then drove off. There were some other employees and customers in the store but no one was hit.

RPD Capt. Casey Moilanen says the rifle was an assault-style replica. He says the incident was reported as an attempted robbery but there was no indication the suspects intended to rob the store. But Moilanen says a situation like this can be dangerous because an armed witness who thinks it’s a real shooting could begin firing at the suspects.

The vehicle the suspects were in was described as a black “boxy” style SUV, perhaps a Jeep Cherokee.

News update:  Crash near Albert Lea kills 12-year-old boy.

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