Marshall E. Leonard is accused of bombing a Mississippi Walmart because he did not like how the retail giant was refusing to sell Confederate flags. The man probably would have escaped further away after the Walmart bombing, but he could not resist flying a huge Mississippi flag from his sunroof and was arrested 30 minutes later.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, the Mississippi Walmart bomber actually declared his intentions on Facebook the day before the Walmart bombing attack.
“Journal corporate, you are on final warning,” Marshall Leonard wrote on October 28, 2015. “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!”
Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre said the suspect may have had the Mississippi Walmart bombed, but he apparently did not want to kill anyone. According to the Daily Journal, the man pulled up in his trademark vehicle in the middle of the night and tossed the homemade explosive into the store.
“A white male got out, lit the package and threw it in the vestibule,” Aguirre said. “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.”
The police chief also said that bomb technicians analyzed the bomb package. Although it held enough explosive material to damage the Walmart store, it apparently had been assembled wrongly.
Capt. Jerry Davis of the Tupelo Police Department said Marshall E. Leonard had already confessed to having the Mississippi Walmart bombed.
“He’s an active protester who thinks Wal-Mart is leading the charge to remove the flag,” Davis told Mic. “He also has a very recognizable vehicle.”
It was actually the Mississippi state flag which led to Leonard’s arrest. A police officer in the area spotted the man’s silver car running a red light, but it was the flag which caused the cop to detain Leonard.
“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,” Aguirre said. “We still have some more interviews to do and still need to search his car before we take him in front of a judge Tuesday.”
Controversy Over The Confederate Flag In Mississippi
The Mississippi Walmart bombing is tied to the controversy over the Confederate flag generated by photos created by Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof. In response to the controversy, Walmart stopped selling the Confederate flag completely in June.
In recent times, even the Ole Miss flag has come under attack. The University of Mississippi removed the flag, which also features a Confederate flag emblem, from the grounds of the Oxford college.
“The University of Mississippi community came to the realization years ago that the Confederate battle flag did not represent many of our core values, such as civility and respect for others,” Stocks also said in his public statement about the removal of the Mississippi flag. “Since that time, we have become a stronger and better university. We join other leaders in our state who are calling for a change in the state flag.”
Marshall E. Leonard Facing Long Prison Sentence
The Mississippi Walmart bomber is charged with “bomb, explosive or weapon of mass destruction: planting or placement.” Based upon the Mississippi Code 97-37-25, Leonard may spend up to life in prison if convicted.
[Image via Lee County Jail/Daily Journal]