Texas man who allegedly planned mass shooting at Walmart store is arrested

Coleman Thomas Blevins had ‘radical ideology paraphernalia’Sheriff: ‘The plot interrupted in this case is unthinkable’ This photo provided by the Kerr county sheriff’s office, shows Coleman Thomas Blevins, who arrested in Kerrville, Texas, on Friday. Photograph: AP A Texas man with “radical ideology paraphernalia” was thwarted last week after authorities intercepted a message detailing his plans for a mass shooting at a Walmart store, police said. Coleman Thomas Blevins, 28, was arrested north-west of San Antonio in Kerrville, Texas, on Friday for a terroristic threat to create public fear of serious bodily injury. “Many think ‘that can’t happen here’, and it was well on the way to happening,” said the Kerr county sheriff, Larry Leitha, adding that investigators “possibly saved many lives”. “The plot interrupted in this case is unthinkable,” he said. During a week-long operation, law enforcement “made contact and conversed with” Blevins, who is white, confirming “his affiliation and networking with extremist ideologies”, according to a news release. On 27 May, Blevins “made a specific threat” involving a mass casualty event at a Walmart, and the FBI and local sheriff’s office confirmed his ability to carry it out, the release said. After arresting Blevins, authorities searched his residence, where they found firearms, concentrated THC, ammunition, electronic evidence and what they dubbed “radical ideology paraphernalia” such as books, flags and handwritten documents. The sheriff’s office posted a photo of the haul, which included a Confederate flag and a copy of The Turner Diaries, a novel by the neo-Nazi William Luther Pierce that depicts an Aryan revolt against the US government. Blevins is on active felony probation and is not allowed to possess firearms. He was taken to Kerr county jail and is being held on a $250,00 bond, according to jail records. In 2019, another white man, Patrick Crusius, drove across Texas to target Hispanics at a Walmart in the border city of El Paso. That racist attack left 23 people dead. Last year, the Department of Homeland Security called violent white supremacy the “most persistent and lethal threat in the homeland”. The US is also dogged by a general epidemic of gun violence, with 239 mass shootings already in 2021, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Last week, a gunman killed nine co-workers, then himself, at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose, California.