I-TEAM: Man sentenced after crashing car into Hammond Target, planting fake bombs

Walter Allbritton III, 41, of Ponchatoula (Source: Hammond Police Department)
Walter Allbritton III, 41, of Ponchatoula (Source: Hammond Police Department)(KALB)
Published: Jun. 29, 2023 at 12:26 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2023 at 1:01 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A man has been sentenced after crashing a car into a Target located in Hammond and planting fake explosive devices in June of 2020, officials said.

Walter Allbritton III, 44, of Ponchatoula, was sentenced to 25 years in prison by Judge Jeffrey S. Johnson after pleading no contest to first degree robbery, two counts of attempted first degree robbery, terrorism, terrorizing, fake explosive device and aggravated criminal damage to property, according to the 21st Judicial District Court.

According to Hammond Police Department, they were notified that a vehicle had been driven into Target and possible shots were fired.

Police said when they arrived Target employees and customers were fleeing from all exits of the store. Documents state that officers commanded Allbritton to surrender and show his hands, but he responded by saying, “you’re going to have to kill me,’ while shoving large amounts of cash from the customer service register into his pockets.

Allbritton exited the store by entering a room with exterior exits unknown to police, officials explained.

According to police, when they saw the suspect exit the store, they chased him as he shouted, “shoot me, shoot,” with a possible bomb in his hand.

They were reportedly able to neutralize him with a taser then return to the scene to investigate further. Officials said they discovered a make-shift bomb near the suspect’s vehicle and immediately evacuated the store.

Officers questioned Allbritton about the suspected explosives from a safe distance, and once he admitted they were “not bombs,” he was swiftly arrested, police said.

At the time of the arrest, Allbritton’s hands, chest and head were covered in red paint, and “black 666″ was written on his cape in red paint, police added.

Detectives said one of Allbritton’s family members explained he suffered from schizophrenia and had been hospitalized for his mental illness in the past. Another person claimed Allbritton worked for a company which was contracted to clean Target, and he believed Target owed him money, documents stated.

Upon further investigation, detectives discovered that Allbritton attempted to hijack two vehicles before he was tased, and he live streamed the events leading up to his apprehension on Facebook.

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office also informed HPD that Allbritton left suspected bombs at Sanderson Farms and a Dollar General in Hammond, police added.

RELATED: Suspect arrested after crashing car into Hammond Target, planting fake explosive devices nearby; bond set at more than $1.5M

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