Police are investigating a Port St. Lucie, Florida, resident who walked into a Port St. Lucie Walmart on Highway 1 asking for something that “would kill 200 people.”
Philip Michael Attey II, 55 years old, admitted that he “was in poor taste” when the alleged incident happened on Wednesday Aug. 7, according to CBS12.
“I’m at a Walmart just a few days after El Paso and I got mad. It was to get them to wake up and think about their role in the gun violence toxic climate that we have,” Attey said.
Police responded to the Walmart in Port St. Lucie, Florida after they received a call from a concerned customer at around 7:11 p.m.
According to the police press release, Attey approached a sales clerk in the sporting section and allegedly asked, “Can you sell me anything (or a gun) that would kill 200 people?” 6abc Action News reported.
The Port St. Lucie police quickly received a tip leading detectives to Phil Attey after issuing a bulletin seeking on Thursday morning, according to Port St. Lucie Assistant Police Chief Richard Del Toro.
“They have made contact with him at his residence, they have determined him not to be a credible threat to anybody,” announced Del Toro at a midday briefing. “He did confirm he is anti-gun, and that he is trying to further this platform.”
“From what we are understanding is that it was kind of more of a shock statement and that it would bring awareness to his platform,” Del Toro added.
Del Toro said that both the customer, who reported the incident to police, and the employee, who went to his managers, did the right thing.
“I think we’re in a day and age now where you can’t take any comment like that lightly,” Del Toro said.
The assistant chief also called it the wrong way to exercise one’s free speech rights, but expressed relief at the lack of serious threat.
Authorities do not consider Attey an immediate threat and he was not arrested or charged. An investigation is ongoing.