SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (ABC NEWS) — Police in Missouri arrested Dmitry Andreychenko, 20, for causing panic inside a Springfield Walmart. Police say the calls for help came in around 4 a.m. Thursday.
“I thought this is real. This is crazy,” said Julie Belew.
“I saw the employees, employees running for the doors and they were screaming,” Tammy Lea said.
Eyewitnesses were horrified after spotting the suspect in military-style clothing, walking into the Walmart carrying teactical weapons. Authorities arrived within three minutes of the first call.
“When SPD arrived here, there were a lot of people hiding outside behind these barriers and businesses, and it was pretty chaotic,” ssaid Springfield Police Department Lieutenant Mike Lucas.
According to police, the store manager pulled the fire alarm and just as shoppers were evacuating, a former firefighter stopped the man, holding him a gunpoint until officers arrived.
“Hopefully my actions prevented something like El Paso from happening,” the firefighter said.
Police say the man was armed with more than 100 rounds of ammunition. Thankfully, no shots were fired and no one was hurt, but Andreychenko has been charged with making a terrorist threat.
Lea said, “Knowing that I was there and he was there at the same time. I am still shaking.”
There’s no word yet on a motive, but following the tragedies in El Paso and Dayton, the FBI did warn just this week of copycat attacks.