An armed man caused chaos inside a Springfield, Mo, Walmart on Thursday afternoon until an off-duty firefighter detained him and he was arrested, police said.
“No injuries were reported and no shots were fired,” police said in a statement.
Police said they were dispatched to the superstore just after 4 p.m. and took the unidentified man in his 20s into custody, according to a news release posted on Facebook on Thursday evening.
Lt. Mike Lucas of the Springfield Police Department said the man was wearing military-style clothes with body armor, toting a loaded “tactical rifle” and a second firearm as well as more than 100 rounds of ammo, The Springfield News-Leader reports.
“His intent obviously was to cause chaos here, and he did that,” Lucas said, according to the News-Leader. “His intent was not to cause peace or comfort to anybody that was in the business here … In fact, he’s lucky he’s alive still, to be honest.”
Lucas said customers left the Walmart in a panic as the man — pushing a cart through the store — recorded a video on his phone and made comments to shoppers, according to the News-Leader.
A Walmart manager triggered the fire alarm to encourage people to flee, KYTV reports, and the armed man left at an emergency exit, where the firefighter detained him at gunpoint.
“At this time, the investigation is ongoing and we are working to determine his motives,” police said, asking that anyone present who hasn’t spoken to police contact the Springfield Police Department.
KYTV reported that police saw “many shoppers hiding outside the Walmart and at nearby businesses.”
The moment of panic came less than a week after a gunman shot and killed more than 20 at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, and just days after another mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio.
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