City of Hammond confirms explosive devices found were fake

Walter Allbritton III, 41, from Ponchatoula has been identified as the driver who crashed into...
Walter Allbritton III, 41, from Ponchatoula has been identified as the driver who crashed into a Target store in Hammond.(Hammond Police)
Updated: Jun. 5, 2020 at 2:57 PM CDT
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HAMMOND, La. (WVUE) - One person was arrested after driving a vehicle into the Target at Hammond Square. He was identified as 41-year-old Walter Allbritton III, of Ponchatoula.

Police responded to a disturbance in the 400 blk. of Palace Dr. around noon on Friday. A spokesperson said that one person is in custody.

Officers did not give a motive for why the man drove into the store. No one was seriously injured.

Police said Allbritton got out of his vehicle, dropped a device on the floor, and ran through a side door in the store, then allegedly tried to carjack someone. Officers said he also had a device when he was taken into custody.

Investigators said they located four suspicious packages in different locations, including multiple spots inside Hammond Square, Sanderson Farms, and a Dollar General Store on Wardline Rd. The chief said that the Sanderson Farms device was not explosive, but the others are still being examined.

Most businesses near the scene have since closed.

The outdoor shopping center is barricaded off with Hammond Police and Louisiana State Police patrolling the area. A police helicopter hovered over Hammond Square for at least an hour.

The explosives devices found were confirmed to be fake, according to the report.

The investigation has now turned into evidence recovery and is expected to be completed by around 10:30 p.m.

After this is done, everyone with a vehicle is allowed to retrieve their vehicle. They also concluded that business will resume as usual tomorrow.

Federal investigators also aided the investigation. They believe the suspect acted alone.

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