SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KYTV) - A man accused of walking into a Missouri Walmart fully armed is telling his side of the story.
Dmitriy Andreychenko, 20, is accused of walking into the Springfield Neighborhood Market on Republic Road and Golden on Thursday, August 8, fully armed, and with plenty of ammo. It set off panic among some shoppers, and led to Andreychenko being held at gunpoint and arrested. He is charged with making a terrorist threat.
“Praise God that he [the man who held Andreychenko at gunpoint] was trained and that he was able to see that I wasn’t threatening anyone and didn’t shoot me, so praise God for that,” Andreychenko said.
Andreychenko tells KY3 News he now sees his decision was poor timing, given the other two mass shootings in recent days, but otherwise does not regret what he did.
"It was foolish, I didn't give it thought. It was so innocent that I didn't think this would happen."
He claimed he even talked to a Walmart manager before he showed up in the parking lot.
“I called Walmart to make sure that this was allowed, and they said it was,” Andreychenko explained.
Reporter Sara Forhetz clarified, “open carry, you mean?”
“Yeah, yeah. Their long rifles, I called and asked if I could carry a long rifle, so.” ‘And they said you could?’ “Yeah.”
He said shoppers didn’t seem shocked, and said no one was screaming or running until after the fire alarm was pulled by a store employee.
"The gun was holstered. I never touched it after putting it on."
As for the tactical clothing, and loaded weapons he was carrying, Andreychenko had this to say:
“There was ammo in the mag, but it’s how I... that gun sits in my car. It sits in my car the way it was. So I just picked it up out of my trunk. And same with the vest, yes, it had mags in it that were full of ammo, but those mags are there for the range. I practice a lot. I want to be efficient in rifle and in shooting just in case I ever needed to use my guns for self protection,” he said.
Now, Andreychenko is working to defend his actions.
“I just want people to know there was no evil to what I did. This was not a hate inspired act. This was purely innocent, the timing was just so off,” he said. “I would never want to hurt anyone; I pray to God that everything works out.”
If convicted, Andreychenko could face four to seven years in prison, plus deportation. He is a permanent resident of the U.S., but not a citizen.
He and his wife are expecting their first child in January.
Walmart sent this statement regarding Andreychenko’s actions:
“We allow concealed and open carry in our stores where that is allowed in the jurisdiction where the store is located. This includes open carry of a long gun if allowed by law. If a customer feels uncomfortable they should contact a member of management.”