Man With Rifle and Bulletproof Vest Creates Chaos at Missouri Walmart

A Walmart in Springfield, Mo., where a man armed with a rifle and 100 rounds of ammunition was arrested Thursday. (Harrison Keegan/The Springfield News-Leader, via Associated Press)

(CN) – A man who showed up to a Missouri Walmart Thursday afternoon with a bulletproof vest, loaded rifle and 100 rounds of ammo was intending to “cause chaos,” according to police who arrested the man.

Lt. Mike Lucas with the Springfield Police Department told Springfield News-Leader that the unidentified 20-year-old man walked inside the store wearing military clothing, body armor, “a tactical rifle” and an additional gun.

Shoppers fled from the store as the man took video on his phone while pushing a shopping cart. The man then walked out of the store as an off-duty firefighter held him at gunpoint until police arrived shortly after. No shots were fired during the incident.

“Nobody was harmed, thankfully,” Lieutenant Lucas later told reporters. “Just a really scary, dangerous situation that thankfully got resolved, and everyone’s going home tonight.”

Lucas described the scene as initially chaotic and said the man appeared to be “pretty stoic” upon contact with the police.

“His intent was not to cause peace or comfort to anybody that was in the business here,” Lucas said in an interview with the newspaper. “In fact, he’s lucky he’s alive still, to be honest.”

While police are still trying to identify his motive, Lucas said they would interview him and go over the man’s social media accounts to determine what he was trying to accomplish.

“His intent obviously was to cause chaos here, and he did that,” Lucas told the Springfield News-Leader.

The incident comes less than a week after two mass shootings occurred within 24 hours of each other. On Aug. 3, gunman with alleged white supremacist views shot and killed 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

One day after the El Paso shooting, a gunman killed nine people outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio. On that same day, another man was arrested after he made threats to shoot up a Walmart in Gibsonton, Florida.

The shootings have sparked Congress into action, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that the Senate will tackle gun legislation when it returns from its month-long summer recess.

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