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Florida man arrested for shooting hole in Walmart delivery drone

Florida man arrested for shooting hole in Walmart delivery drone

Walmart’s drone delivery program, which is growing rapidly in metro Dallas and other parts of the county, provides quick transportation of small orders to customers, but for one Florida man, it served another purpose—target practice. 

Business Insider reports that the Lake County Sheriff’s Department arrested Dennis Winn, who blasted a hole in the payload area of one of the drones flying around near his home on June 26. 

The story said Winn told police that he thought he was being surveilled by the delivery vehicle. Winn allegedly retrieved his 9mm pistol from a safe in his house and fired off a single bullet at the drone.

“I then told him that he had struck a Walmart drone,” the story noted, quoting the police affidavit. “The defendant looked in disbelief and questioned, ‘Really?'”

Winn was arrested and charged with “shooting at an aircraft,” which is a felony and punishable by up to 20 years in prison, according to the story. 

Business Insider notes that drones have been targeted by shooters in North Carolina, Florida, and California over the last two years. 

Walmart launched its drone delivery program through Wing, the drone delivery business owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, last year in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. 

The Wing drones are piloted autonomously by artificial intelligence, and most deliveries take around 30 minutes or less. Walmart and Wing have expanded the delivery program over the last several months and ultimately plan to operate in about 30 towns in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 

The retail giant recently announced that it added the drone delivery function to its smartphone app. Previously, shoppers had to place their Walmart drone delivery orders through the Wing app. 

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