Man sentenced to 25 years after driving vehicle into Hammond Target, planting fake bombs

Walter Allbritton III, courtesy of the Hammond Police Department

HAMMOND – A Ponchatoula man was sentenced recently after driving a vehicle into the Hammond Target, attempting to hijack vehicles, and planting fake explosive devices in June 2020, according to the 21st Judicial District Court.

Walter Allbritton III, 44, pleaded no contest to first-degree robbery, two counts of attempted first-degree robbery, terrorism, terrorizing, fake explosive device, and aggravated criminal damage to property from the 2020 incident.

Judge Jeffrey Johnson sentenced Albritton to 25 years.

On June 5, 2020, the Hammond Police Department was notified of a vehicle driven into the Hammond Target by a caped subject, and shots were possibly fired.

Hammond police responded to the scene to find Target employees and customers fleeing through all exits. Officers found Allbritton inside the store and commanded him to surrender and show his hands.

Officials say Allbritton responded with, “You’re going to have to kill me,” while shoving cash from the customer service register in his pockets.

Allbritton escaped the officers inside by fleeing through a room with exterior exits. The officers outside saw Allbritton run out the door and chased him while he allegedly shouted, “Shoot me, shoot,” with a possible explosive in his hand.

Officers neutralized Allbritton with a taser. Officers discovered a makeshift bomb near Allbritton’s vehicle and evacuated the store.

Authorities questioned Allbritton about the suspected explosives, but he admitted they were not bombs.

According to the 21st Judicial District Court, one of Allbritton’s family members explained he had schizophrenia and had been hospitalized for it before.

The investigation discovered Allbritton attempted to steal two vehicles before he was tased, and he live-streamed the events leading up to his arrest on Facebook.

Officials said the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office informed Hammond police that Allbritton left suspected bombs at Sanderson Farms and a Dollar General in Hammond.

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