Police identified the armed man who caused a panic at a Springfield, Missouri Walmart Neighborhood Market store Thursday afternoon as Dmitriy N. Andreychenko, 20. The man was charged with making terrorist threats in the second degree. Authorities believe Andreychenko wanted to see if the Walmart store would "honor" his Second Amendment rights, just days after 22 people were killed at an El Paso, Texas Walmart.
Police identify man who was arrested after he walked around a Missouri Walmart carrying a rifle and wearing body armor as panicked customers fled. https://t.co/i1x9868dRn— The Associated Press (@AP) August 9, 2019
Springfield police officers were called to the Walmart around 4:10 p.m. local time after an armed off-duty fireman saw the suspect and detained him until police arrived. No shots were fired during the incident.
During the incident, the suspect pushed a cart and recorded himself walking through the store. The manager saw him, and pulled the fire alarm to let customers know to evacuate. During the evacuation, the fireman saw the suspect and stopped him.
Andreychenko wore body armor and allegedly carried a loaded rifle and handgun in the store.
“Missouri protects the right of people to open carry a firearm, but that right does not allow an individual to act in a reckless and criminal manner endangering other citizens," Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson said in a statement Friday. "As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously explained, ‘the most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre causing a panic.'"
According to the statement, Patterson said a Battlefield Police Officer and citizen were injured during a car crash as the officer responded to the call.
If convicted, Andreychenko faces up to four years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, reports the Associated Press.
“I wanted to know if Walmart honored the Second Amendment,” a probable cause statement quotes Andreychenko as saying.
Andreychenko said he was planning to buy grocery bags at the store and recently bought the weapons because of recent shootings and stabbings. He carried a rifle with a loaded magazine and a handgun on his hip with one round in the chamber.
His wife, Angelice Andreychenko, told investigators she told her husband carrying the weapons was a bad idea and he was being immature. His sister, Anastasia Andreychenko, said he wanted her to film him in the Walmart, but also thought it was a bad idea.
“This was a reckless act designed to scare people, disrupt our business and it put our associates and customers at risk,” Walmart spokeswoman LeMia Jenkins told the AP. “We applaud the quick actions of our associates to evacuate customers from our store, and we’re thankful no one was injured.”0comments
In 2017, Missouri passed a law allowing anyone 19 or older to openly or conceal carry a firearm.
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