SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A man has been charged with a felony after police say he walked through a Missouri Walmart store with body armor and a loaded rifle.
Dmitriy N. Andreychenko, 20, of Springfield, was charged Friday with making a terrorist threat in the second-degree. That's a felony punishable by up to four years in prison. He was being held in the Greene County Jail.
Andreychenko said he was testing whether Walmart "honored the Second Amendment," authorities say.
Police say Andreychenko went to the Walmart on Republic Road in Springfield, donned body armor and walked inside with a loaded "tactical rifle" and another gun.
Police say panic ensued and shoppers went scurrying out of the building as Andreychenko walked around pushing a shopping cart and recording video on his phone.
The incident occurred five days after a gunman killed 22 and injured dozens more at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
Andreychenko left the store after a few minutes and was held at gunpoint by an off-duty firefighter until officers arrived moments later, said Lt. Mike Lucas of the Springfield Police Department.
No shots were fired during the incident. No one was injured.
Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson said in a news release Friday that Missouri's open carry laws don't give citizens the right to act recklessly. He compared it to free speech laws not allowing people to shout "fire" in a crowded theater, causing panic.
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Andreychenko is being represented by defense attorneys Dee Wampler and Joseph Passanise.
“It is a serious charge,” Wampler said in a press conference Friday afternoon. “Our client takes it seriously.”
He said Andreychenko has lived in the United States for 18 years and moved to Springfield from Oregon. Andreychenko has no criminal record and no history of violence, Wampler said.
Wampler said that based on the evidence he has seen, he does not believe Andreychenko verbally threatened anyone while inside the Walmart.
Asked whether the off-duty firefighter who detained Andreychenko might be subject to prosecution, Wampler said he did not think so. He called the firefighter “a good citizen” making what the man thought was a “citizen’s arrest.”
In a statement, Walmart said it was working with authorities.
"This was a reckless act designed to scare people, disrupt our business and it put our associates and customers at risk," said LeMia Jenkins, Walmart's director of national media relations, in a statement. "We applaud the quick actions of our associates to evacuate customers from our store, and we’re thankful no one was injured.
"This person is no longer welcome in our stores. We are working with the authorities however we can and we appreciate their quick response that prevented this situation from escalating further.”
Lucas said Springfield police officers arrived on scene three minutes after the initial 911 call .
Contributing: The Associated Press. Follow Harrison Keegan on Twitter: @HKeeganNL
This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Springfield, Missouri, Walmart armed man ID'd, charged with felony