A Walmart in Springfield, Missouri, turned into a scene of chaos when shoppers were convinced they were about to become victims of another mass shooting.
Police reported that a White man appearing to be in his 20s walked into the store wearing a bulletproof vest and fatigues, and armed with a "tactical rifle" and another gun with more than 100 rounds of ammunition.
He was seen pushing a shopping cart while filming a video of himself on his cellphone and making comments to customers.
Nobody was shot, but his appearance caused shoppers to panic.
Thursday afternoon's incident follows Saturday morning's domestic terrorism massacre at a Walmart in El Paso that claimed 22 lives.
When the young man in Missouri left the store through an emergency exit, an off-duty firefighter held him at gunpoint until police responding to a 911 call arrived at the scene.
Police didn't name the suspect, but he was identified through online jail records as Dmitriy Andreychenko, 20.
Lt. Mike Lucas with the Springfield Police Department said that the man is "lucky to be alive."
"He walked in here, heavily armed with body armor on, in military fatigues, and caused a great amount of panic inside the store."
The armed man who walked into a Missouri Walmart store dressed in body armor and fatigues is “lucky to be alive” af… https://t.co/cmmKxGCUJi— NBC News (@NBC News) 1565342044.0
According to the Springfield News-Leader, the incident occurred around 4:10 p.m. at the Walmart Neighborhood Market at 3150 W. Republic Road.
His motives are unknown, but it is clear his visit was a ruse to prey on the fears of civilians.
Lucas said that the store manager activated the fire alarm and told shoppers to evacuate the building.
"His intent obviously was to cause chaos here, and he did that."
🚨UPDATE: 🚨 At 4:10 p.m. SPD were dispatched to 3150 W. Republic Rd. to a Walmart Neighborhood Market. An armed wh… https://t.co/l7xY5qLRog— Springfield PD (@Springfield PD) 1565309552.0
The lieutenant said the suspect initially appeared "pretty stoic" when police arrived.
"His intent was not to cause peace or comfort to anybody that was in the business here. In fact, he's lucky he's alive still, to be honest."
A 20-year-old white male was arrested at the Walmart Neighborhood Market today ... Police say he was armed.. his mo… https://t.co/3vozBZefK6— Jenifer Abreu (@Jenifer Abreu) 1565304905.0
"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."
Police are continuing their investigation by checking the suspect's social media accounts to see if he was live-streaming his visit.
@NBCNews DMITRIY ANDREYCHENKO was booked on 8/8/2019 9:14:00 PM. ANDREYCHENKO was arrested by SPRINGFIELD POL in Sp… https://t.co/ZOHjc0tocQ— Jane Smith (Karma) ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🖤 (@Jane Smith (Karma) ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🖤) 1565343084.0
Walmart issued a statement that read:
"The behavior of a customer was concerning to those inside our store and out of caution, law enforcement was contacted."
According to the National Rifle Association's website, the open carrying of firearms is legal in the state of Missouri.
Gun rights activists were vexed over the detainment of the armed suspect in the right to carry state.
@DomClare @moralinjuryblog @Roxx_Ram @ChinnNicholas @SGFPolice the point is everyone is arguing for the good guy wi… https://t.co/gvcy0b6971— evan jacobs (@evan jacobs) 1565358541.0
@ChinnNicholas @SGFPolice The man was carrying a rifle, a handgun, wearing body armor, and a suitable combat load o… https://t.co/pCx0HOaYS8— Roxx Ram! 🐏☀️ (@Roxx Ram! 🐏☀️) 1565352164.0
@jeniferabreutv @kolr10kozl Carrying an assault rifle while wearing a Tactical Style Vest. Domestic Terrorist. Plain and simple.— Matt (@Matt) 1565309770.0
@jeniferabreutv @kolr10kozl I'm not an open carry advocate, but to do they know that what he did, while stupid espe… https://t.co/HPhloA9FX9— Jason Morin (@Jason Morin) 1565331123.0
@retiredogs @WebbL03 @Jane_S_Karma @NBCNews Did he actually make threats or did he just walk in there dressed like… https://t.co/mE6E1NVmAW— John L. Daniels VI (@John L. Daniels VI) 1565352339.0
Fear from mass shootings have conditioned some civilians to stay indoors.
@SGFPolice @IronicPollyana And this is the world we live in now...where armed people are walking around with weapon… https://t.co/xTr9NosFAM— Erin Alexander (@Erin Alexander) 1565353748.0
@obbibb @SGFPolice @IronicPollyana I have no problem going into buildings or businesses where it is clearly posted… https://t.co/DBEVXWMFfG— Erin Alexander (@Erin Alexander) 1565361885.0
People challenged the outcome of the situation had the suspect been a person of color.
@AKBushArmyGuard @jeniferabreutv @kolr10kozl Imagine if you were a person of color and just wanted to “test the lim… https://t.co/egT731b6K2— carmellahunt (@carmellahunt) 1565359058.0
@jeniferabreutv @kazweida @kolr10kozl Maaaan, if he was Black or Brown, he'd been shot on sight.— SBP (@SBP) 1565308878.0
This user proposed a policy update for Walmart, but even that was easily dismissed.
@NBCNews I really think it’s time @WALMART make a store policy banning guns, except the ones for sale, or at least… https://t.co/BIFgT3lBvg— BenIsrael (@BenIsrael) 1565344249.0
@onefortyfour12 @NBCNews @Walmart Except they can’t, well they can but it doesn’t supersede 2A. All they can do is… https://t.co/6auYL3fYAY— Mike (@Mike) 1565345473.0
A combined total of 31 people have died over the weekend from the El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, mass shootings.
Americans remain shell shocked as evidenced by Tuesday night's stampede in Times Square when tourists misinterpreted the sounds of a backfiring motorcycle as gun shots and scrambled away from a non-existent gunman.
This should not be accepted as America's new normal.