A Florida woman was taken into custody after she allegedly made a bomb inside of a Tampa Walmart. 37-year-old Emily Stallard was walking around the store with her son for about an hour when a security guard became suspicious of her actions.
By the time an off-duty police officer and the security guard confronted Stallard, she was seconds away from igniting her homemade explosive. Authorities said she had filled a mason jar with denatured alcohol and nails and was about to light a candle that was also inside the jar.
"This woman had all the supplies she needed to cause mass destruction at her disposal. Had it not been for an observant off-duty law enforcement officer and a watchful security staff at Walmart, she may have followed through with her plans to cause an explosion inside the store," said Sheriff Chad Chronister.
Stallard fought back, but the off-duty officer managed to detain her until deputies arrived to take her into custody. She is facing charges of attempted arson, firebombing, child abuse, and battery of a law enforcement officer. Officials did not say why she was trying to create a bomb.
Authorities praised the security guard and off-duty officer, who just happened to be shopping at the time, for their vigilance, which prevented a potential tragedy.
"This shows how important it is that if you see something out of place, say something," Hillsborough Sheriff Spokesperson Amanda Granit said. "Your actions and what you saw could really make a huge difference, as it did in this case."
Photo: Hillsborough County Jail