Armed man stopped in Walmart days after El Paso attack
Five days after 22 people were killed at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, panicked shoppers fled a Walmart in Springfield, Missouri, after a man carrying a rifle and wearing body armour walked around the store before being stopped by an off-duty firefighter.
No shots were fired and the man, 20-year-old Dmitriy Andreychenko, was arrested after surrendering yesterday, Springfield police said. No one was injured.
The Springfield News-Leader quoted Lt Mike Lucas as saying that the man arrived on Thursday afternoon (local time) wearing body armour and military-style clothing.
Mr Andreychenko walked inside the Walmart carrying a "tactical rifle" and another gun. Lt Lucas said the man had more than 100 rounds of ammunition.
Lucas said an off-duty firefighter held the suspect at gunpoint until police arrived about three minutes after receiving an initial call.
"Thankfully, there weren't any shots fired. I think it's great that that off-duty fireman was here," Lt Lucas said.
Lt Lucas said Mr Andreychenko would be charged but the exact crimes would be determined later.
Security video from inside the store would be reviewed to determine the man's demeanour and a possible motive, he said.
"His intent obviously was to cause chaos here, and he did that," Lt Lucas added.
The potential charges against Mr Andreychenko will depend on his actions while he was in the store, said Dee Wampler, a longtime Springfield defence lawyer and former Greene County prosecutor.
Carrying an assault rifle in public is not necessarily a crime, Mr Wampler told The News-Leader.
"If he was looking at people in a menacing way or if he was saying something to other customers that was frightening to them – those would be factors" and could result in felony charges, Mr Wampler said.
He also could be charged with a misdemeanour peace disturbance, or a different misdemeanour if he was told to leave the store and didn't, Mr Wampler said.
Springfield is about 266 kilometres south of Kansas City, Missouri.
© AAP 2019