Four days after a gunman killed 22 people and wounded dozens inside an El Paso Walmart, police say a man walked into a Florida Walmart and asked a clerk in sporting goods if the store could sell him “a weapon that could kill a large amount of people.”
It’s one of several recent incidents at Florida Walmart stores.
Just a day after the Saturday mass shooting in Texas, a Rockledge man phoned in a threat to “shoot up” a Merritt Island Walmart. On Tuesday, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office arrested and charged Richard Seepersad with making a false report of a shooting and unlawful use of a two-way communications device.
Another man, Wayne Lee Padgett from Hillsborough County, was arrested and charged with threatening to “shoot up” a Walmart in the Florida town of Gibsonton because he was “intrigued” by the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.
So Port St. Lucie police weren’t taking any chances after receiving a call from the store Wednesday night. Officers say a 50- to 60-year-old white male with a goatee, gray-black hair and wearing a black top and light-colored shorts, made the request of the clerk.
The police department released an image from a surveillance video that shows the man they are calling a suspect.
On Thursday afternoon, police sent an update that they have identified the make of a vehicle that the man may have used to get to the store on South U.S. Highway 1.
Police are asking for the public’s assistance to help them find the man.
They say he had a white two-door convertible Chrysler Sebring and released more images of the man next to the car.
According to Tallahassee’s ABC WTXL, the man twice asked the clerk for a weapon that could “kill 200 people.”
When the clerk said “that isn’t funny,” the man allegedly responded, “I know,” and once again asked if the store had such a weapon for sale before leaving the store.
If you have any information, call Port St. Lucie police at 772-871-5172 or Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 800-273-8477.