A Mississippi man was arrested on Sunday morning for allegedly throwing a bomb inside a Walmart just days after threatening the retail giant and other businesses for refusing to sell Confederate battle flags.
According to the Tupelo Daily Journal, 61-year-old Marshall W. Leonard will be charged with placing an explosive device after allegedly throwing it inside a local Walmart.
“There was an employee on break, and the suspect told him, ‘You better run,’ Police Chief Bart Aguirre said. “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 named Walmart and the Daily Journal as targets in an Oct. 28 post on the newspaper’s Facebook page.
“Journal corporate, you are on final warning,” he wrote Oct. 28. “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!”
Leonard told WAPT-TV last month that the flag, which has been derided as a symbol of slavery and oppression, had nothing to do with race.
“Changing the state flag isn’t going to change nothing,” said Leonard, who opposed a bill that would remove the symbol from the Mississippi state flag. “There’s still always going to be hate. There will still always be racism.”
WTVA-TV reported that Leonard was kicked out of the Confederate flag advocacy group Mississippi On Guard in August after protesting at a Tupelo City Council meeting while being draped in the flag.