US: ‘Copycat’ attack thwarted at Fla. Walmart, suspect ‘intrigued’ by mass shootings: cops

A Florida man was arrested Sunday for threatening to “shoot up” his local Walmart — later telling cops he was “intrigued” by the El Paso and Dayton massacres.

Wayne Lee Padgett, 31, is accused of targeting a Walmart in Gibsonton, just 10 miles south Tampa.

He allegedly called the store and told an employee he was on his way — and armed.

“He was intrigued with the shootings over the last couple of days,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister told reporters at a press conference. “This type of behavior seeks to instill fear in people and it will not be tolerated.”

Chronister said cops acted quickly to the “active shooter” threat and were able to bust Padgett, who lived near the Walmart — where his mom was employed. It’s unclear if he was actually carrying a weapon.


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