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Armed Man Creates Chaos at Missouri Walmart

Local authorities arrested a man who walked into a Springfield, Missouri, Walmart on Thursday wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a loaded rifle and approximately 100 rounds of ammunition.

The man, Dmitriy N. Andreychenko, 20, did not open fire but caused chaos and took video on his phone as shoppers and employees rushed to evacuate the store, according to The Springfield News Leader.

​An off-duty firefighter held the suspect at gunpoint until police arrived on the scene and apprehended the individual.

“His intent was not to cause peace or comfort to anybody that was in the business here,” said Lieutenant Mike Lucas with the Springfield Police Department in an interview with The News Leader. “In fact, he’s lucky he’s alive still, to be honest.”

The incident comes less than a week after two mass shootings in the United States, including one where a gunman—dressed in body armor—opened fire inside a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people and injuring numerous more.

Details are continuing to emerge about the incident, including that the mother of the suspect in the El Paso shooting called the police weeks before raising concerns about whether her son was “mature or experienced​ enough” for an AK-style rifle he ordered, The New York Times reports. Authorities are also investigating whether suspect committed a hate crime by targeting a Walmart store frequented by Mexican shoppers and a racist manifesto he allegedly authored appeared on 8chan.

8chan is a popular site for extremists and has been knocked offline this week after several companies that provided security services to it, including Cloudflare, stopped working with the site.

​“Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Nearly the same thing happened on 8chan before the terror attack in Christchurch, New Zealand,” wrote Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince in a blog post. “The El Paso shooter specifically referenced the Christchurch incident and appears to have been inspired by the largely unmoderated discussions on 8chan which glorified the previous massacre.”

Prince explained that Cloudflare did not take the decision lightly to terminate service based upon the content of a site it provided services for.

“We reluctantly tolerate content that we find reprehensible, but we draw the line at platforms that have demonstrated they directly inspire tragic events and are lawless by design,” he added. “8chan has crossed that line. It will therefore no longer be allowed to use our services.”

Since then, 8chan has attempted to find a new home online and other companies to provide protective services but has not been successful. Fredrick Brennan, 8chan’s original founder who is no longer associated with the site, has advocated for it to be shut down entirely.

​​And on the legislative front, U.S. lawmakers are facing increasing pressure to take action to prevent future mass shootings because more than 250 have occurred in 2019​—killing 277 people and injuring 1,057.

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he would be open to considering the idea of legislation to expand background checks on gun purchasers.

McConnell said "that a measure expanding background checks to all gun purchasers would be ‘front and center’ when the Senate comes back into session next month,” according to The Times.

Ohio, where the other mass shooting occurred on Sunday morning that left 10 people dead—including the shooter—is also considering new gun control measures. Options that Governor Mike DeWine has raised include a “red flag” law, which would allow judges to confiscate firearms from individuals who pose threats to themselves or others.

​“His plan would also require background checks for all gun purchases and transfers with some exemptions, strengthen penalties on crimes involving guns, and increase access to mental health treatment,” according to NPR.