Port St. Lucie, FL – A Florida man who waltzed into a Walmart store and asked a clerk to sell him a gun capable of killing 200 people has announced that he is an anti-gun activist, and that he wanted to make a political statement.
The incident occurred on Wednesday, when the self-proclaimed activist interrupted a Walmart clerk who was speaking with a customer in the sporting goods area, according to Treasure Coast Newspapers.
“Can you sell me a gun that can kill 200 people?” the man said, according to the police report.
The clerk told him that his comment wasn’t funny, and the man agreed.
“I know,” he said, before again asking the clerk if he “could sell him anything that would kill 200 people,” Treasure Coast Newspapers reported.
The incident was reported to the Port St. Lucie Police Department (PSLPD), and the clerk told his supervisor about what had occurred, KABB reported.
The assistant manager spoke to the man, who allegedly told him he was an “anti-gun nut and that he wanted his voice heard, that Walmart should stop selling guns,” a police report read, according to Treasure Coast Newspapers.
“He got a reaction. He got a lot of people concerned,” Port St. Lucie Police Sergeant Robert Vega told the paper. “He got police involved and we spent many hours trying to track down this individual to determine what his motives were.”
The PSLPD released photos of the man who made the inquiries at the Walmart store, and soon identified him as 55-year-old Phillip Michael Attey.
Investigators ultimately determined that Attey was not an “immediate threat,” and it is unclear whether or not he will face charges over the incident, Treasure Coast Newspapers reported.
“Detectives are still looking into whether or not charges are going to be filed,” Sgt. Vega said. “They need to review the case. They’re not really sure exactly what direction it’s going to go in.”
Attey took to Facebook in an attempt to justify his behavior, and alleged that it was Walmart and another customer’s fault that he became so enraged that day.
“Passing by the gun section of the store, seeing a young ‘White Nationalist' looking guy at the counter, set off my temper,” Attey wrote in the post. “I couldn't get the anger that just days after your role in the El Paso mass shooting, you were right there in [Port St. Lucie], selling guns to White Nationalist looking guys.”
“Not even a respectful mourning period, not even before our national flags go back up to full mast -- you're selling guns to possibly White Nationalists,” he ranted. “I'm disgusted with you. America's disgusted with you!”
During an interview with WPTV, Attey was asked to describe what the alleged “White Nationalist” looked like.
“Around 30 years old, white male, nice, I mean, pleasant-looking guy…” he said.
Attey admitted that the customer wasn’t wearing any clothing that conveyed any political messages.
“It was just the image of it and it was like, ‘This is wrong,’” he said, sidestepping the reporter’s question.
In his Facebook post, Attey addressed Walmart specifically.
“Now that I have your attention,” he wrote. “My Advice: You should suspend gun sales right now and commit not to start them back up, until after working with law authorities and gun violence prevention experts, you're able to offer…programs and services” including “heightened background checks, educational courses certification, and insurance policies.”
“YES…THIS WAS ME,” he bragged in another post. “Yes, I was making a political statement. Walmart, what say ye? Can you guarantee that the guns you sell won’t be used to take human life? And if you cannot…STOP SELLING THEM!!”
In the interview with WPTV, Attey admitted that his comments were in “poor taste,” but said he would “give up” everything in order to “fix the bigger problem.”
He added that he does not own any firearms because he is “very much Christian.”