Scene at Walmart

WILKESBORO POLICE are still on the scene at Walmart in Wilkesboro about 9:15 p.m. Saturday. The Walmart was evacuated and closed due to a man armed with what turned out to be a pellet gun inside the store.

The Wilkesboro police department has filed felony and additional misdemeanor charges against a man accused of chasing and pointing a pellet gun at people inside the Dunham’s Sports and Walmart stores in Wilkesboro Saturday night.

The additional charges filed against Jimmy Roger Minton Jr., 29, of Dehart Church Road, North Wilkesboro, are two counts of felonious assault with a deadly weapon against a government employee, two felony counts of terrorism and six misdemeanor counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Wilkesboro Police Chief Craig Garris said the additional charges were filed after his department completed its investigation and after consultation with the district attorney’s office.

Garris said Minton also received an additional $1 million secured bond for a total secured bond of $2 million.

Capt. Jason Delbert of the Wilkesboro Police Department said Minton was charged with terrorism on the basis of a section of N.C. General Statues that says, "A person is guilty of the separate offense of terrorism if the person commits an act of violence with the intent to.... intimidate the civilian population at large."

Minton was charged with two counts of terrorism because of the separate incidents at Walmart and Dunham's.

District Attorney Tom Horner said he wasn't aware of a person in Wilkes County ever being charged with the offense of terrorism before now.

Delbert said the two counts of felonious assault with a deadly weapon against a government employee resulted from Minton pointing the pellet gun at an officer in Dunham’s and then an officer in Walmart. Minton already was charged with misdemeanor assault on a government official as a result of pointing the pellet gun at an officer inside Dunham’s.

He said the six misdemeanor counts of assault with a deadly weapon resulted from people stating in interviews that Minton pointed the pellet gun at them and/or chased them. He already was charged with six counts of misdemeanor assault for this.

Delbert said the pellet gun was stolen from Dunham’s, resulting in larceny and possession of stolen goods charges against Minton. He said the Swiss Arms MOD-Fire .177 caliber pellet gun stolen was recovered when Minton was taken into custody without incident in a bathroom at Walmart.

No shots were fired and no one was injured during the incident, Delbert said.

Wilkesboro Officer C.G. Colbert said in a written report that Jimmy Roger Minton Jr., 29, “told me the reason why he did what he did. Minton said he has seen what happened in the recent shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, and wanted to go to Dunham’s and Walmart to kill a bunch of people.”

Colbert said Minton made the statement after he asked Minton if he was okay while he was in custody in the backseat of his patrol car, parked outside Walmart after Minton was arrested inside. Colbert had checked on him because he was moving around.

Colbert said the events began when officers responded after Minton’s mother, Martha Minton, called Wilkesboro police a little after 8 p.m. Saturday while she was parked in the Walmart parking lot, shared Minton’s history of violence against her and said she was worried about him possibly buying or stealing a knife from Walmart. She stated that her son had walked from Walmart to Dunham’s.

 As of late Monday afternoon, Minton was in the Wilkes County Jail with “special watch” status in “administrative segregation” (padded cell without other inmates), said Capt. Jason Whitley, Wilkes Detention Center director. “He has been evaluated and will be evaluated further by Daymark” Recovery Services, which provides behavioral health care, Whitley added.

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