A Jackson, Mississippi, man may face life in prison for detonating a homemade bomb in a local Walmart on Sunday morning.
Marshall W. Leonard, a 61-year-old male, was upset that Walmart halted sales of the Confederate flag, so he decided to send out a message to the management. Leonard posted a warning on his Facebook page, clearly stating that he was not kidding, prior to arriving at the store and detonating the bomb, according to USA Today. His warning called out the Daily Journal, Walmart, and other department stores that removed the confederate flag from their inventory.
“Journal corporate, you are on final warning,”
His threatening post continued to name other establishments he considered to be un-American, and let them know he was not playing around.
“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!”
As a result of his actions, Leonard may face up to life in prison for the attack.
Leonard is a vocal supporter for the Confederate flag, set on speaking out against anyone that deems it unworthy of its place in Southern history. He reached out to the Daily Journal via their Facebook page in an earlier post, attempting to call them out for being part of “the problem,” rambling on about his belief that the removing the Confederate flag is an act of racism and control. His onslaught of poorly written posts were removed by the Daily Journal.
He deemed his post deletions as a method of silencing him and hiding the truth from the public. As a result, he planned the attack at Walmart to show everyone that he should be taken seriously.
Leonard hand crafted his bomb, ensuring it was constructed to inflict the most damage possible. He did not care who or what was hurt during its detonation.
The attack took place at the North Gloster Walmart in Sunday morning at approximately 1:30 a.m., according to Gawker. One employee was present when he lit the bomb on fire and threw it toward the store, warning the employee to run.
Police Chief Bart Aguirre spoke to the media and revealed the actions that took place at the Walmart.
“A white male got out, lit the package and threw it in the vestibule. There was an employee on break, and the suspect told him, ‘You better run.’ “
He continued to explain that the employee was not harmed, but quite a bit of damage was inflicted upon the store.
“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.”
Leonard left the scene, deciding not to stay behind and see the amount of damage he caused. During his escape, Leonard proudly flew a Confederate flag through the sunroof of his car, illegally. As a result, police officers pulled him over to issue a citation, before realizing he was the man responsible for detonating a bomb at Walmart. According to Aquirre, that was about the time the police radio traffic sent out calls to be on the look out for the suspect.
“The officer pulled him over for the traffic violation, but when the calls started coming in, we quickly figured out we needed to hang on to this suspect.”
Mississippi law mandates that placing an explosive device, and detonating it, in a public location can lead to a life sentence in prison.
[Photo via Africa Studio / Shutterstock]