A man wearing body armor and carrying an assault rifle caused a panic at a Springfield, Missouri Walmart Thursday afternoon, Springfield’s KY3 reports. No shots were fired, and he was detained by an off-duty firefighter until police arrived and arrested him without incident.
According to police reports, a “young, white male” wearing body armor and military fatigues and carrying “tactical weapons” was observed walking through a Walmart on the city’s south side. Authorities say he grabbed a cart and began pushing it through the store, recording himself on his cell phone the whole time.
A store manager pulled a fire alarm and told shoppers to get out of the store. The armed man, however, allegedly walked out through a fire exit, where he was met by an off-duty firefighter who detained him until police arrived.
In a statement, Springfield Police Lieutenant Mike Lucas said that the situation could have ended much worse for the man.
“He’s lucky to be alive still, to be honest.”
Lucas further noted, as NBC News reports, that the incident happened just days after two mass shootings hours apart in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. And the El Paso shooting took place at a Walmart.
“Obviously, what’s happened in Texas and Dayton and all that kind of stuff in the last seven days — that’s on everybody’s minds,” Lucas said.
Though police didn’t initially identify the suspect, jail records identified him as 20-year-old Dmitriy Andreychenko.
Missouri Walmart threat suspect ID'd by police, mugshot released: Police in Missouri identified the armed suspect that entered a Springfield Walmart on Thursday as 20-year-old Dmitriy Nickolayvich Andreychenko, who was reportedly stopped at… https://t.co/gbzapa51YY pic.twitter.com/gcWe0oJkMD— #FoxNews???????????? (@hashtagfoxnews) August 9, 2019
Daily Mail reports that an Instagram account bearing the name “Dima Chenko” and with pictures of a man resembling the Missouri suspect, appears to portray the image of a man who loved guns. Photos show him smiling and holding various weapons. That Instagram account has since been set to Private, meaning that only people approved by the user can see its content.
The British newspaper also reports that a Facebook account apparently belonging to the Missouri suspect purportedly referenced a beef the user had with Walmart.
“It’s official. I hate Walmart. Apparently they won’t sell Rifle and shotgun ammo if your under 21. ‘New policy’ However I can walk into the store with a loaded.40 and nobody says anything. What a joke,” a post said.
Early Friday morning, The Springfield News-Leader reported that it does not appear that formal criminal charges have been filed against Andreychenko.
In Missouri, according to The National Rifle Association, it’s legal to openly carry firearms, as long as the weapon is not displayed “in an angry or threatening manner.”