A man in Tupelo, Mississippi was arrested on Monday after police accused him of bombing a local Wal-Mart for not selling his state's flag, the Associated Press reports.
The Tupelo police chief Bart Aguirre said that the bomb made a loud bang, but ultimately caused no damage when Marshall E. Leonard allegedly threw it into the 24-hour shopping center early Sunday morning.
%shareLinks-quote="The device had enough explosive to cause damage to the Wal-Mart had Leonard assembled it differently, the police chief added." type="spreadWord"%
Wal-Mart is one of the retailers that halted sales of merchandise featuring confederate flags on it -- which is on the upper left section of Mississippi's state flag. The decision to stop selling the merchandise occurred after the June 17 massacre of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina.
Leonard is known for flying the 4-foot-long Mississippi flag on his vehicle, according to the Associated Press.
%shareLinks-quote="[Leonard's] a strong supporter of keeping that flag flying ... This is his way of bringing attention to that." type="quote" author="Bart Aguirre" authordesc="Tupelo Police Chief" isquoteoftheday="false"%
Leonard was arrested for running a red light near the shopping center and was charged with detonating an explosive. Meanwhile, Aguirre said that police are continuing to search his home and car.
Police say the Tupelo man allegedly threw a lit newspaper-wrapped package into the Wal-Mart at around 1:30 AM on Sunday morning.
%shareLinks-quote="An employee was sitting the vestibule taking a break. He told the employee to run -- that he was going to blow the place up. He throws this package into the front entrance of Wal-Mart. He flees and the employee flees." type="quote" author="Bart Aguirre" authordesc="Tupelo Police Chief" isquoteoftheday="false"%
Aguirre noted that Leonard's car is emblazoned with stickers bearing the Confederate battle and Mississippi state flags.
See photos of Confederate flags around the US:
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