Armed off-duty firefighter halts armed suspect at Walmart store in Missouri, police say

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(SOURCE)    An armed man reportedly wearing body armor and pushing a shopping cart at a Walmart store in Missouri on Thursday led a store manager to pull the fire alarm and sent customers fleeing — but an armed off-duty firefighter was able to detain the man until police officers arrived, Springfield police said.

The 20-year-old suspect was carrying loaded tactical weapons, according to reports. He was arrested at the scene and taken into custody, however, police didn’t immediately say what charges he was arrested on.

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

It wasn’t immediately clear if the man who was detained told cops why he was at the store, however, the incident comes five days after a mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, that resulted in 22 deaths.

“His intent obviously was to cause chaos here, and he did that.”

— Lt. Mike Lucas, Springfield Police Department

In a Facebook post, Springfield police wrote that officers were dispatched to the Walmart store around 4:10 p.m. Thursday on reports of  “an armed white male.”

The suspect was wearing body armor and military-style clothing, according to the News-Leader, which cited information from Lucas.  He walked inside the Walmart carrying a “tactical rifle” and another gun, the newspaper reported and had more than 100 rounds of ammunition.

The suspect grabbed a cart, pushed it around the store and recorded cell phone video of himself walking through the Walmart, Springfield’s KY3 reported, citing police.

The television station reported that the store manager pulled a fire alarm, which prompted people to flee from the store.

The suspect then made his way out an emergency exit where the firefighter held the man at gunpoint, the station reported, adding that police showed up about three minutes later and made the arrest.

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Police said no shots were fired and no one was injured.

Lucas described the suspect as “pretty stoic” during initial police contact, the News-Leader reported.

“At this time, the investigation is on-going and we are working to determine his motives,” police said in the Facebook post.

A fire marshal was reportedly called out to the scene to inspect the suspect’s car in the parking lot, to make sure there were no bombs in the vehicle.  Police said investigators will review surveillance video from the store and also check the suspect’s social media accounts to see if he was live-streaming the events, the newspaper reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

6 thoughts on “Armed off-duty firefighter halts armed suspect at Walmart store in Missouri, police say

  1. Both the cops and the suspect were wrong. The suspect had incredibly horrendous timing, given recent events. He says he wanted to see if the store would respect his Second Amendment rights, but could just as easily have done so by open carrying a pistol.

    The cops were wrong because he wasn’t behaving in a threatening manner. The article I read described him as simply pushing his shopping cart. This doesn’t take into account the fact that Missouri is a Constitutional Carry state, and has no laws preventing anyone from owning or wearing body armor.

    In short, the only thing that kid is guilty of is being stupid.

  2. Thanks for your comment TEP336!

    The article read that “the suspect led the store manager to pull the fire alarm”, I thought that he actually told the manager to pull the fire alarm. But now I see that it actually meant that “the incident” led the manager to pull the alarm, not that the suspect took him to the alarm and told him to pull it. It didn’t really make sense, now it does. Why does this point even matter? Because, if the suspect told the manager to pull the alarm then I can see where the suspect might use this to his advantage by grouping people together as they fled from the store in a panic, and the point that the suspect was doing more than just testing his right to bear arms.

    I can also see where the suspect actually didn’t break any laws, however, with 3 mass shootings happening in the past week (and one in a Walmart!) this was not only a very stupid move but a deadly move as well! He was very, very fortunate that the firefighter didn’t shoot him dead! And in the current climate of mass shootings who is to say that the firefighter would have been wrong in doing so?!

    People like this suspect do the Second Amendment a disservice as far as I’m concerned. If an individual is to own and bear arms then they need to be diligent in doing so, it’s called being responsible!

    God bless! Maranatha!

  3. Amen to all of that. There is a right way and a wrong way to interact with the public while carrying, and he demonstrated the wrong way.

  4. Thanks for your comment TEP336!

    It all starts with one small step, just like eating an elephant one bite at a time, but hopefully this isn’t one more step in an attempt to take away our right to own and bear arms. That is a goal of the Progressive Left, to disarm American citizens, the goal of a government seeking total domination and control of it’s population. What was one of the purposes for the Second Amendment? Oh yeah, to enable citizens to fight against a tyrannical form of government like they were doing during the Revolutionary War against the British Government. However, the Left misinterprets the Second Amendment altogether, just as many people misinterpret scripture to their own desires.

    God bless! Maranatha!

  5. Anyone can make a sentence read however they wish, if they’re clever enough. The Second Amendment is a prime example. There is something funny about the looks on their faces when they suddenly find the truth dropped in their laps.

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