By: KDKA-TV’s Erika Stanish
MCKEESPORT, Pa. (KDKA) — A Santa Claus display is under fire in McKeesport after it was decorated with Jolly Old Saint Nick holding a gun and baton.READ MORE: Panel Gives The Go Ahead To Demolish Building That Housed Wright Brothers' First Bike Shop
A picture of the Santa at the Lysle Blvd Dollar General store has gone viral, leaving many outraged and disappointed by the store’s choice.
The Santa can also be seen in the picture wearing a necklace that reads. “Ho, Ho, Ho MF.”
“This is ridiculous. I’m sorry. Are you serious?” McKeesport resident David Rose said. “This is, kind of bluntly, stupidity on not only the managers but the staff that would even accept something like this being put up.”
Rose and other customers at the store Wednesday told KDKA that they were appalled by the decoration and the example it sets for kids.READ MORE: KD Sunday Spotlight: LIFE Pittsburgh Giving Independence And Support To Seniors
“I was like, you know, no. They got to do something about that. … It’s going to cause a disturbance and that’s what it did,” McKeesport resident Mark Austin said.
“This neighborhood, first of all, has been pretty violent throughout the years. I can’t understand why someone would be this ignorant to that fact. Depicting something of this nature to the kids coming in here?” Rose said.
The woman who took the picture of the Santa and posted it to social media is not an employee of Dollar General but said the store’s intention was to make Santa and the reindeer security guards.
Dollar General released a statement to KDKA, saying, “The display at issue in our McKeesport store was in direct violation of our mission and values. We are investigating the matter, and appropriate action will be taken against any responsible employee.”
Some customers said they want to see the person who decorated the display fired, while others said they simply plan to never return to this Dollar General location.
“I can’t condone this, and I doubt I’ll be back because of this. I’m not coming back to this one. I’m sorry, it’s not about the fact of just this, it’s the fact that they’ve allowed it. If they’re allowing this, what else will they allow?” Rose said.MORE NEWS: The Black Market Returns For The Holidays To Showcase Local Black-Owned Businesses
The Santa did not have a gun, baton or necklace on Wednesday. The display featured candy canes.