In the wake of the recent Texas and Ohio mass shootings that took more than 30 lives, a “good guy with a gun” reportedly kept a man at a Walmart in Springfield, Missouri, from possibly unloading his assault rifle into unexpecting shoppers.
Exact details of the incident are still under investigation, but police arrived at the scene as a courageous bystander – an off-duty fireman holding a concealed carry permit for his firearm – was holding the threatening shooter at gunpoint and given credit for stopping the suspect – Dmitriy Andreychenko, a 20-year-old white mail – from carrying out a potential mass killing just five days after two horrific mass shootings took place across the country.
“[H]is intent was not to cause peace or comfort to anybody that was in the business,” Springfield police stated about the would-be shooter, according to KOLR 10 TV. “In fact, he’s lucky to be alive still, to be honest.”
The suspect’s actions have all the indications of preparing for a lethal shooting spree, as he was armed with what appeared to be an AR-15 rifle – and clad in full body armor.
“Andreychenko started recording himself with his cellphone while still in the parking lot of the Springfield Walmart on Thursday afternoon,” Fox News reported. “He got the body armor from the trunk of his car before grabbing a shopping cart and walked into the store, the probable cause statement said.”
Walmart management did all it could to avoid mass casualties and vacated customers from the store immediately.
“A store manager activated a fire alarm, prompting shoppers to flee, police said,” Fox News’ Bradford Betz recounted.
Conservative media has commented on how the mainstream media has virtually taken a vow of silence regarding coverage of this incident, likely because of its unabashed opposition to gun ownership, as this story flies in the face of its gun control agenda that Democratic presidential candidates for the 2020 election are pushing – with former Vice President Joe Biden outrightly calling for a form of gun confiscation to take away citizens’ right to bear arms guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution.
“So, a good guy with a gun stopped a possible attack, but I'm sure the anti-gun wingnuts will keep their heads in the sand,” Townhall’s Matt Vespa asserted.
Missouri law enforcement immediately posted the incident on social media, but most media outlets were too busy capturing images of anti-Trump protesters demanding more gun control measures in the wake of the two shootings.
“The incident discussed above is at Walmart Neighborhood Market located at 3150 W. Republic Rd,” Springfield PD tweeted Thursday. “An armed individual was confronted at that location and arrested. The investigation is ongoing.”
One local television station took to Twitter to inform local residents.
“#BREAKING 20-year-old man with rifle, handgun & body armor arrested at Walmart on Republic,” KOLR 10-TV’s Heather Lewis tweeted Thursday. “SFD Police say he had 100+ rounds of ammunition. Off-duty firefighter with concealed carry gun held him at gunpoint until officers arrived about 3 minutes later.”
Springfield Police Department Lt. Mike Lucas identified the potential shooter as someone with no good intentions, whose actions could have warranted someone to kill him out of self- (and public) defense.
“His intent was not to cause peace or comfort to anybody that was in the business,” Lucas told reporters, according to KOLR 10. “In fact, he’s lucky to be alive still to be honest.”
At the time, he said no shots were fired and no one was injured, while the suspect remained in custody.
Lucas commended the gun-toting off-duty fireman for his bravery.
“According to Lt. Lucas, an off-duty fireman who was at the Walmart is to thank in some part for the young man’s arrest,” Vespa noted.
Security footage of the suspect is being reviewed, as well has his social media profiles – including a possible Facebook live post posted by the gun-wielding 20-year-old.
“We definitely have some crimes here,” Lucas told reporters, according to KOLR. “Walmart has hundreds of cameras – every footstep he took here is going to chronical and document his actions.”
Cause & punishment
According to police records, the suspect claims he was testing the parameters of his constitutional rights.
“The probable cause document quoted Andreychenko as saying he ‘wanted to know if Walmart honored the Second Amendment,’” Betz noted. “He said he had bought the rifle and body armor because of three recent shootings and a stabbing, and wanted to protect himself.”
Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson assessed what is in store for the suspect.
“Missouri protects the right of people to open-carry a firearm, but that does not allow an individual to act in a reckless and criminal manner endangering other citizens," Patterson said in a statement announcing charges. “[The actions of the accused can be compared to] falsely shouting fire in a theater, causing a panic."
This is still a serious charge.
“Andreychenko faces up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if convicted of the felony charge of making a terrorist threat in the second degree, according to the prosecutor’s office,” Betz informed.
Walmart Spokeswoman LeMia Jenkins issued a statement Friday applauding authorities for keeping the threat from turning into anything and stressed that Andreychenko will not be permitted to enter Walmart stores in the future.
"This was a reckless act designed to scare people, disrupt our business and it put our associates and customers at risk," Jenkins announced. "We applaud the quick actions of our associates to evacuate customers from our store, and we're thankful no one was injured."
Missouri and more than half of the states allow residents to bear arms publicly without getting a special permit by the government to do so.
“Since January 2017, Missouri has not required a permit to openly or conceal carry a firearm for those 19 years or older,” Betz pointed out. “Roughly 30 states allow the open carrying of handguns and rifles and shotguns in public without a permit.”