Prosecutors have charged 20-year-old Dmitriy N. Andreychenko with Making a Terrorist Threat in the second degree after he was arrested at a Walmart Neighborhood Market Thursday, allegedly walking through the store on Republic Road wearing a bulletproof vest and displaying a loaded rifle, causing panic among shoppers.
Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson’s office confirmed the charges late Friday afternoon.
Missouri law typically comes from two sources: the state Constitution and Missouri’s Revised Statutes. And the statute in the spotlight in Andreychenko’s case is R.S. MO 574.120, which says a person commits making a terrorist threat in the second degree if he or she meets at least a couple of criteria.
First, the person must “recklessly disregard” the risk of “causing the evacuation, quarantine or closure of any portion of a building, inhabitable structure, place of assembly or facility of transportation.”
In addition, the person must knowingly:
- Communicate “an express or implied threat” to cause an incident or condition involving danger to life; or
- Communicate a false report of an incident or condition involving danger to life; or
- Cause a false belief or fear that an incident has occurred or that a condition exists involving danger to life
The offense of making a terrorist threat in the second degree is a class E felony.
According to a statement released Friday by Patterson's office, that crime is punishable by up to four years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
Although Andreychenko’s charge of Making a Terrorist Threat in the second degree is a felony, it is a less serious offense than officials originally indicated they were considering—the charge of Making a Terrorist Threat in the first degree, which was listed on the Greene County Jail’s inmate booking website as a “pending” charge for most of Friday.
To meet the criteria of that more elevated offense, Missouri law says a person must have “the purpose of frightening ten or more people or causing the evacuation, quarantine or closure of any portion of a building, inhabitable structure, place of assembly or facility of transportation”—in addition to knowingly communicate a threat or false report involving danger of life.
Responding to the charges, Springfield Mayor Ken McClure said in an emailed statement he feels the charges are "appropriate," and said he was “deeply troubled” by the event. He added that he plans to work with City Council to “further the dialogue” about public safety.
As of late Friday afternoon, Missouri's online court records did not list details of the case, and the Greene County Prosecutor's office would not confirm whether Andreychenko had an attorney yet.
Police say no shots were fired at the Walmart store Thursday, and there were no injuries. The incident comes on the heels of two mass shootings nationwide, including one in El Paso, Texas, where a gunman killed 22 people at a Walmart store.