HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A 31-year-old man is in custody and facing a felony charge after he called and threatened to shoot up a Florida Walmart.
Deputies say Wayne Lee Padgett made the active shooter threat around 1:17 p.m. He told a Walmart employee he was 5 minutes away and was going to shoot up the store located on Gibsonton Drive.
He now faces a felony count of false report of use a firearm in a violent manner.
HCSO Sheriff Chad Chronister said within hours his deputies had solved the case and had Padgett in custody.
“This type of behavior seeks to instill fear in people, and it will not be tolerated,” Chronister said.
After deputies were able to speak to Padgett, Chronister said Padgett admitted to making the call and admitted “he was intrigued with the shootings over the last couple of days.”
Deputies said Padgett lives near the Walmart and his mother evens works at the store. She was working during the time of the call.
No firearms were located at Padgett’s home. He is unemployed and has no criminal history.
Chronister urged residents after the recent events in El Paso and Dayton, if you see something you need to say something.
“After the events over the last week, we all fear for our safety to begin with so to have an individual who for whatever reason wants to be a copycat, or wants to still fear in people for whatever that motive may be is disturbing,” he said. “If you make any type of threat, know that your sheriff’s office is going to take it extremely seriously, expend whatever resources in a timely fashion to find that threat.”
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