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Off-Duty Firefighter Stops Man With Rifle in Missouri Walmart

(Daniel Becerril/Reuters)

A man carrying a rifle and wearing body armor was detained Thursday evening after causing a panic at a Missouri Walmart, according to police and local media reports.

The white male, who appeared to be in his 20s, walked into the Walmart Neighborhood Market in Springfield, Missouri wearing body armor and military fatigues and carrying tactical weapons as well as more than one hundred rounds of ammunition, the Springfield Police Department said, which responded within three minutes of being called.

The man was filming himself walking around the store pushing a cart when the store manager pulled the fire alarm to warn customers to escape. The man exited through an emergency exit.

An off-duty firefighter then held the heavily armed man at gunpoint until police arrived.

“His intent was not to cause peace or comfort to anybody that was in the business,” Police Lieutenant Mike Lucas said. “In fact, he’s lucky to be alive still to be honest.”

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

“All we know is the fact that he walked in here heavily armed with body armor on, in military fatigues and caused a great amount of panic inside the store. So he certainly had the capability the potential to harm people.”

“And then obviously what’s happened in Texas and Dayton and all that kind of stuff in the last seven days – that’s on everybody’s mind,” Lucas added.

A statement from police said that, “At this time, the investigation is ongoing and we are working to determine his motives.”

The incident comes as the country is remains shaken from two mass shootings over the weekend. A shooter who left a white supremacist manifesto killed 22 at an El Paso Walmart on Saturday. Less than 24 hours later, another young gunman shot and killed 10 in Dayton, Ohio.

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