HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A 31-year-old is facing a felony charge for threatening to shoot up a Gibsonton Walmart.
Hillsborough deputies say 31-year-old Wayne Padgett called in the threat around 1:17 p.m. Sunday, reportedly telling a Walmart employee he was 5 minutes away and was going to shoot up the store located on Gibsonton Drive.
Sheriff Chad 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 said they are not taking any threats lightly, especially given the recent tragedies across the nation.
“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.”
Padgett now faces a felony count of false report of use a firearm in a violent manner.