Thirty-one-year-old Wayne Lee Padgett is in custody and facing a felony charge after he called and threatened to shoot up a Gibsonton Walmart on Sunday afternoon, Aug 4.
The Walmart located at 9205 Gibsonton Drive, in Hillsborough County, Florida, was evacuated of nearly 1,000 shoppers after an employee received a threatening phone call at about 1:17 p.m., according the sheriff’s office.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to the Walmart on Gibsonton Drive just before 1:30 p.m. Five patrol deputies raced to the scene and arrived within minutes.
HCSO Sheriff Chad Chronister said that within hours his deputies had solved the case and had Padgett in custody, according to WFLA.
We have arrested Wayne Lee Padgett for making an active shooter threat to the Gibsonton @Walmart earlier today. He is charged with False Report Of Using A Firearm In A Violent Manner. pic.twitter.com/rEIKnLipRQ
— Chad Chronister (@ChadChronister) August 5, 2019
“These criminals that seek to make us afraid to go shopping, to the movies, concerts, work, and school are nothing but terrorists,” Chronister said. “This type of behavior will not be tolerated. We will pursue justice to the fullest extent of the law.”
Padgett, unemployed with no criminal history, lives near the Walmart and his mother even works at the store. She was working during the time of the call.
When asked by deputies, Padgett admitted that “he was intrigued with the shootings over the last couple of days.”
Chronister said that no firearms were located at Padgett’s home.
Padgett was arrested at about 7 p.m. He was being held in the Hillsborough County jail late Sunday in lieu of $7,500 bail, according to Tampa Bay Times.
He is charged with making a false report of using a firearm in a violent manner, which is a felony.