Tampa mom accused of building bomb inside busy Walmart remains in jail, security guard hailed hero

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa mom, Emily Stallard, is still behind bars after a quick-thinking security guard stopped her from setting off a homemade bomb in Walmart on Saturday, according to deputies.

Arrest documents show she was seconds from lighting the bomb’s wick, made from a shoelace. And, what’s worse, detectives tell 8 on your Side, the mom had her son with her.

It happened Saturday evening when the 37-year-old was wandering the aisles aimlessly for more than an hour, documents show. The report also says Stallard was collecting odd items in her grocery cart, including mason jars, nails and denatured alcohol.

Deputies say she began opening the items, then stopped in an aisle to craft a homemade bomb, all with her young son at her side.

Thanks to that alert Walmart security guard and an off-duty FWC officer, she was stopped just in the nick of time before lighting the match.

Hillsborough County deputies took her into custody. The mom is now facing multiple charges, accused of trying to set off a homemade bomb inside the Walmart on East Fletcher Avenue in Tampa.

8 on your Side spoke at length with Walmart corporate officials on Tuesday. They say they consider their employee a hero. They also say he, along with many others company-wide, have received extensive training to handle threats just like this one.

Although they would not go into the detail on specifics regarding the training, they told 8 on your Side, employees are well-prepared for this type of situation.

They also say that the safety of both shoppers and employees is paramount to the company.

The woman’s boyfriend stated that she has threatened violence in public places multiple times, including that day.

“She is crazy, just crazy.. She said she was about to blow up the place if I didn’t give her money,” said Edwin Howell. “She’s in jail, and I hope she learns her lesson while she’s in there.”

Stallard’s boyfriend also indicated that she’s dealt with a meth addiction in recent months and is prone to hallucinating.

“Her making a bomb, I couldn’t believe it,” said her South Tampa landlord, who didn’t want to be named. “She’s on her smartphone all the time. I guess her smartphone showed her how to make a bomb.”

The landlord explained that, in his opinion, Stallard has gone into a downward spiral over the last year or so.

“I don’t know what to believe anymore. The girl’s gone nuts,” he claimed. “She said the house is haunted. I said something is wrong.”

A store security guard and a Florida Wildlife Commission officer, working at the store in an off-duty capacity, stopped Stallard on Saturday before she could set off the bomb.

Deputies explained that the woman made it using a mason jar and other materials she gathered from the aisles inside the Walmart.

8 On Your Side reached out to Walmart and got a statement from the retail giant:

We take the safety and security of our customers and associates seriously. We appreciate the quick response of local law enforcement and are assisting them as they investigate the matter.

LATEST HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY NEWS:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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