SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Prosecutors on Friday filed a terrorist threat charge against a 20-year-old man who said he walked into a Missouri store wearing body armor and carrying a loaded rifle and handgun to test whether Walmart would honor his constitutional right to bear arms.
The incident, just days after 22 people were killed during an attack at another Walmart in El Paso, Texas, caused a panic at the Springfield, Missouri, store. Dmitriy Andreychenko walked through filming himself with his cell phone Thursday afternoon.
No shots were fired and Andreychenko was arrested after he was stopped by an armed off-duty firefighter at the store.
"Missouri protects the right of people to open carry a firearm, but that does not allow an individual to act in a reckless and criminal manner endangering other citizens," Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson said in a statement announcing the charge. Patterson compared the man's actions to "falsely shouting fire in a theater causing a panic."
If convicted, the felony charge of making a terrorist threat in the second degree is punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, according to the prosecutor's office. The charge means he showed reckless disregard for the risk of causing an evacuation or knowingly caused fear that lives were in danger.
"I wanted to know if Walmart honored the Second Amendment," a probable cause statement released Friday with the charges quoted Andreychenko as saying.
Andreychenko started to record himself with his phone while he was still in the car parked at Walmart. He got the body armor from the trunk of his car and put it on before grabbing a shopping cart and walking into the store, according to the statement.
Andreychenko said his intention was to buy grocery bags. The rifle had a loaded magazine inserted, but a round was not chambered. A handgun on his right hip was loaded with one round in the chamber.
He said he bought the rifle and body armor because of three recent shootings and a stabbing, and said he wanted to protect himself.
His wife, Angelice Andreychenko, told investigators that she warned him it was not a good idea, adding that he was an immature boy.
His sister, Anastasia Andreychenko, said he had asked her if she would videotape him going into Walmart with a gun and she also told him it was a bad idea, according to the probable cause statement.