SPRINGFIELD, MO — A heavily armed man who walked into a Missouri Walmart wearing body armor, sending shoppers fleeing, wanted to see if Walmart honored the Second Amendment and called it a social experiement, according to a probable cause affidavit from Springfield Police.
The man, identified by authorities as Dimitriy N. Andreychenko, 20, of Springfield was charged on Friday with making a terroristic threat in the second degree.
According to the affidavit, Andreychenko walked into the Walmart on Thursday with an AR-style rifle slung across his chest and wearing a ballistic vest. He appeared to be recording on his phone as he walked into the store, the affidavit says.
When Andreychenko walked into the store, the Walmart manager asked an employee to pull the fire alarm so that customers could evacuate, the affidavit stated. Police said a customer held Andreychenko at gunpoint outside the store and he was taken into custody without incident. Police said he was also armed with a semi-automatic handgun.
The affidavit says that Andreychenko told police he wanted to know if Walmart honored the Second Amendment and he decided to record himself in case anyone tried to stop him. He also told police he did not believe people would react they way that they did.
“This is Missouri,” Andreychenko told police, according to the affidavit. “I understand if we were somewhere else like New York or California, people would freak out.”
He told police he bought the rifle and body armor after three recent mass shooting and a stabbing and wanted to protect himself, the affidavit says.
Andreychenko’s wife and sister both told him that it was not a smart idea to try to walk into the Walmart armed, the affidavit says.
His wife said Andreychenko “was just an immature boy,” the affidavit says.
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He also called his sister to ask if she would record him walking into the store, describing what he was trying to do as a social experiment, the affidavit says. His sister said she would not record him and said it was a bad idea due to the recent shooting at the El Paso Walmart that left 22 people dead.
Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson said in a statement that Missouri protects the right of people to open carry a firearm but that right “does not allow an individual to act in a reckless and criminal manner endangering other citizens.”
Patterson said he was thankful no one was injured. According to the affidavit, Andreychenko’s rifle was loaded but it was not chambered.
“A person commits the crime of making a terrorist threat in the second degree when he recklessly disregards the risk of causing the evacuation of any portion of a building and knowingly communicates an express or implied threat to cause an incident or condition involving danger to life or knowingly causes a false belief or fear that an incident has occurred or that a condition exists involving danger to life,” Patterson said.
Andreychenko is currently being held in the Greene County Jail on a $10,000 bond.
The incident happened five days after a man opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people in what is being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism. The same day, just hours later, a gunman opened fire in a crowded bar district in Dayton, Ohio, killing nine more people.
Shannon Antinori contributed to this report.