A 20-year-old man who was arrested Thursday afternoon after causing a panic at a Walmart in Springfield, Missouri, when he brought a loaded rifle and a bulletproof vest into the store, said he was conducting a “social experiment” to test his Second Amendment rights, The Washington Post reported.
According to the newspaper, Dmitriy Andreychenko, 20, faces up to four years in prison and a $10,000 fine after he brought over 100 rounds of ammunition into the store Thursday, prompting store employees to pull the fire alarm to evacuate customers.
Andreychenko’s so-called “experiment” reportedly resulted in some injuries after a police vehicle crashed into another driver while trying to reach the store following reports of the ordeal.
“This is Missouri,” Andreychenko reportedly said of the incident to investigators. “I understand if we were somewhere else like New York or California, people would freak out.”
Andreychenko, who wore military-style clothing and a bulletproof vest, reportedly used his phone to capture footage of the stunt inside the store.
As the store was evacuated, Andreychenko was confronted outside by an off-duty firefighter who held him at gunpoint until local authorities arrived.
Springfield Police Lt. Mike Lucas told the Springfield News-Leader that Andreychenko’s “intent obviously was to cause chaos here, and he did that.”
“His intent was not to cause peace or comfort to anybody that was in the business here,” Lucas continued. “In fact, he’s lucky he’s alive still, to be honest.”
Walmart blasted the stunt as a “reckless act designed to scare people, disrupt our business and it put our associates and customers at risk” in a statement to The Post.
“We applaud the quick actions of our associates to evacuate customers from our store, and we’re thankful no one was injured,” the company added.
The Hill notes: “Though Missouri law allows citizens to carry concealed and non-concealed weapons without a permit in the state, Andreychenko is reportedly facing charges for making what prosecutors called a ‘terrorist threat’ for the panic that ensued at the store as a result of his actions, according to The Post.”
The stunt came days after a gunman opened fire at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, last weekend, killing 22 people and injuring dozens more.