In another possible copy-cat incident, a white male in his 20s was detained by an armed former firefighter inside a Walmart Market in Springfield, Missouri after he entered the store wearing military fatigues, body armor and carrying an assault rifle and a side pistol. Authorities say he was carrying more than 100 rounds of ammunition.
The man, identified through police and online jail records as Dmitriy Andreychenko, was seen pushing a shopping cart and recording video of himself on a cellphone. Springfield Police Lt. Mike Lucas said police were called about a possible active shooter and in the meantime, the store manager pulled a fire alarm and instructed people to evacuate the building.
“He walked in here, heavily armed with body armor on, in military fatigues, and caused a great amount of panic inside the store,” Lucas said. “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.”
The former firefighter, who wanted his identity kept confidential, told news outlet KOLR, “I walked up to the grass and asked him if he was the male inside and he stated, ‘yes,’ and I drew my weapon and told him to put his hands in the air. He complied. He was compliant the whole time.”
He explained, “He was videotaping on his phone, which was kind of odd, but he complied with my request that he keep his hands in the air and he asked me to come up there and take his weapon from him. I told him to keep his hands off of it and keep his hands in the air and when the police arrived that they would take his weapon.”
The former firefighter said he hopes that by stepping in, he prevented another tragic situation from happening again.
The open carrying of firearms is legal in Missouri as long as the weapon is not displayed in a threatening manner, according to the National Rifle Association’s website. “His intent was not to cause peace or comfort to anybody that was in the business,” Lucas said. “In fact, he’s lucky to be alive still, to be honest.”
Walmart said in a statement that “the behavior of a customer was concerning to those inside our store and out of caution, law enforcement was contacted.”