JACKSON, Miss. — A man is charged after allegedly setting off an explosive at a Mississippi Walmart Sunday morning.
Marshall W. Leonard, 61, of Tupelo, will be charged with placing an explosive device. Under Mississippi Code 97-37-25 he could get life in prison if convicted, the Tupelo Daily Journal reported.
Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre said a vehicle pulled up to an entrance of the Walmart in North Gloster around 1:30 a.m. CT.
“A white male got out, lit the package and threw it in the vestibule,” said Aguirre. “There was an employee on break, and the suspect told him, ‘You better run.’
“The employee did run and was away from harm when the package went off. It wasn’t a large explosion. It didn’t cause a lot of damage to the store.”
No one was injured in the incident. The remnants of the homemade explosive device have been sent to the crime lab.
A supporter of the Mississippi flag, Leonard railed against anyone who wanted it removed because it contained the Confederate battle flag. He spoke out against Walmart when the retail giant stop selling items that contained the Confederate battle flag.
Last Wednesday, Leonard posted threats on the Daily Journal Facebook page.
“Journal corporate, you are on final warning,” he wrote Oct. 28. “You are part of the problem. As a result of this, y’all are going down, along with Walmart, WTVA, Reeds department store, and all the rest of the anti-American crooks. I’m not kidding. No messing around anymore!”
Leonard was taken into custody after being stopped for a traffic violation. During the stop police quickly determined he was a suspect in the Walmart bombing. Leonard is set for an initial court appearance Tuesday.