Man arrested after hoax about shooting up Walmart in Central Florida


MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. (WESH) —A Brevard County man is accused of calling a Walmart in Merritt Island and telling employees that multiple people were on the way to shoot up the store.

Deputies said Richard Seepersad, 41, made the call Sunday, just one day after a man killed 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

According to an arrest affidavit, a caller told a Walmart pharmacist that “two kids were coming to the store with rifles to shoot the place up.”

After investigators traced the call to Seepersad’s phone they eventually determined it had been a hoax.

Seepersad initially denied making the call, claiming that he’d loaned his phone to a man at a gas station, the affidavit said. He eventually admitted to making the call when he was being questioned by detectives, the affidavit said.

Seepersad is charged with making a false report of concerning the use of firearms and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.

The arrest is at least the second Walmart shooting threat that has led to an arrest in Florida following the deadly El Paso shooting.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office arrested 31-year-old Wayne Lee Padgett of Valrico late Sunday. He is charged with calling the Walmart Supercenter in Gibsonton on Sunday afternoon and telling managers he planned to shoot up the store.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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