Emily Rae Stallard is the Florida woman who investigators said built a homemade bomb inside a Walmart and was seconds away from setting it off before a security guard and an off-duty officer stopped her. Deputies said she constructed the device using objects from inside the store.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department said that Stallard, 37, had a child with her at the time, who helped her to collect the items and build the device. An NBC station in Tampa reported that the child was Stallard’s son. In a news release, deputies did not specify whether Stallard was related to the boy.
Heavy reached out to the sheriff’s department to clarify and to ask what happened to the child following Stallard’s arrest. A spokesperson from the public affairs office responded via email that the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office “cannot disclose the relationship, if any, between Stallard and the child” or share any other details about the child.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Deputies: Stallard Wandered Around the Walmart Collecting Flammable Items & Projectiles, Which She Placed In a Mason Jar
Emily Rae Stallard roamed around the Walmart, located at 2701 Fletcher Avenue East in Tampa, for more than an hour on January 11, 2020. As referenced above, she was accompanied by a young child.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department explained in a news release that Stallard collected “flammable materials, projectiles and matches” in her cart. A spokesperson from the department confirmed to Heavy that the items included a mason jar, paint, nails, and matches.
Deputies also said that Stallard picked up denatured alcohol, according to The Ledger. Denatured alcohol is ethanol that is toxic and not meant for human consumption. The material is used in cleaning solutions.
2. Investigators Say Stallard Used a Shoelace as a Wick & Was About to Light It Before a Security Guard Stopped Her
Deputies say that a Walmart security guard noticed Emily Stallard begin to open the items in her cart without paying for them. The guard called the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department and notified an off-duty Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officer who happened to be inside the store at the time of the incident.
Stallard had placed the flammable items inside the mason jar and had equipped a shoelace to serve as the wick. WTVT-TV reported that Stallard had a lighter and was attempting to detonate the homemade device before the security guard and the off-duty officer stopped her. They detained her until deputies arrived.
Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement, “This woman had all the supplies she needed to cause mass destruction at her disposal. Had it not been for an alert 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.”
3. Emily Stallard’s Boyfriend Alleges That She Has Threatened Violence Multiple Times & Described Her Behavior as ‘Crazy’
Emily Stallard’s boyfriend, identified as Edwin Howell, spoke with NBC affiliate WFLA-TV following her arrest. He described her behavior to the TV station as “crazy” and that he hoped she would “learn her lesson” while behind bars.
Howell alleged that leading up to the bomb-making incident in Walmart, Stallard had made verbal threats about committing acts of violence in public. “She said she was about to blow up the place if I didn’t give her money.” He added that Stallard uses meth and has struggled with having hallucinations.
The TV station also spoke with Stallard’s landlord, who did not wish to be named. He described Stallard as having “gone nuts” and that Stallard had expressed fears that her home was haunted. He added to Fox13 that he believes Stallard is dealing with serious mental health issues.
4. Stallard Is Facing Multiple Charges Including Fire Bombing & Child Abuse
Emily Rae Stallard was arrested during the evening of January 11, 2020, and booked into jail shortly after midnight. According to inmate records, she was being held on $8,500 bond.
Stallard faces the following charges:
- Attempted Arson of a Structure – Third-degree Felony
- Fire Bombing – Third-degree Felony
- Child Abuse – Third-degree Felony
- Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer – Third-degree Felony
- Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor – First-degree Misdemeanor
5. Emily Stallard Has Been Ordered to Stay Away From the Walmart Once She Is Released From Custody
Emily Rae Stallard was booked into jail early in the morning on January 12 and as of January 15, had not yet posted bond. During a preliminary hearing, Judge Catherine Catlin ordered Stallard to stay away from the Walmart on Fletcher Avenue once she is released from custody, according to Hillsborough County court records.
Stallard will be represented by a public defender. According to inmate records with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office, Stallard is unemployed.
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