Man Threw A Bomb In A Walmart Because It Won't Sell Confederate Flags
A man allegedly threw a small explosive into a Mississippi Walmart because the retailer stopped selling Confederate flags.
According to The Washington Post, 61-year-old Marshall Leonard arrived at the Walmart in Tupelo at about 1:30 am on Sunday and lit a package wrapped in newspaper on fire before throwing it inside the store, which is open 24 hours a day.
A loud noise emitted from the package, but the store was apparently unaffected.
Explosive technicians, however, told Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre the package could have caused significant damage had Leonard done a better job constructing the explosives inside.
No one was hurt in the attack.
Aguirre told the Associated Press,
An employee was sitting the vestibule taking a break. He told the employee to run -- that he was going to blow the place up. He throws this package into the front entrance of Walmart. He flees and the employee flees.
On social media, it appears Leonard previously threatened to launch an attack on Walmart.
On Facebook on October 28, Marshall Leonard wrote,
Journal Corporate... You are on final warning... You are part [of] the problem. As a result of this, yall are going down, along with WALMART, WTVA, REEDS DEPARTMENT STORE, AND ALL THE REST OF THE ANTI-AMERICAN CROOKS. GET YOURSELF READY... [I'M] NOT KIDDING NO MESSING AROUND ANYMORE!
At about 2 am, Leonard was reportedly pulled over for running a red light.
It was around this time police began receiving calls from those who had heard Leonard's threats.
Aguirre told the Daily Journal,
The officer pulled him over for the traffic violation, but when the calls started coming in, we quickly figured out we needed to hang on to this suspect.
Aguirre told The Post Leonard didn't specifically mention the Confederate flag to investigators but called Walmart "anti-American."
Leonard, whose car is reportedly covered in Confederate flag stickers, was set to be charged Tuesday with planning or placing an explosive device or a weapon of mass destruction.
He could go to jail for life if convicted.
Citations: Man bombed Wal-Mart because it stopped selling Confederate flags, police say (The Washington Post), Mississippi Flag Backer Accused of Tossing Bomb in Wal-Mart (ABC News), Man jailed after bombing at Tupelo Walmart (Daily Journal)