A Florida man is accused of threatening to gun down people inside a Walmart just 24 hours after a gunman massacred 20 at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart store.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office arrested Wayne Lee Padgett, 31, of Valrico on Sunday after he allegedly called managers at the Walmart Supercenter in Gibsonton and told them he wanted to “shoot up” the store.
The Florida store had to evacuate 1,000 people because of the threat.
Investigators said they linked the phone call to Padgett but found the threat not to be credible after a search of his home found no weapons.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister told WFLA that Padgett told authorities he “was intrigued with the shootings over the last couple of days.”
Deputies say Padgett lives near the Walmart and his mother also works at the store.
Authorities charged Padgett with falsely reporting the use of a firearm in a violent manner, online jail records show.
The threat comes just two days after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Two days ago, Patrick Crusius, 21, allegedly opened fire at an El Paso Walmart, killing 20 and injuring 26 others.
Not even 24 hours later, Connor Betts, 24, allegedly gunned down 9 and injured at least 27 others in Dayton.