Photo courtesy Andy Bean
Andy Bean, a former firefighter and EMT, was in a Missouri Walmart Aug. 8 when a man wearing body armor and holding rifle walked into the store.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Andy Bean wants to set the record straight.
The 36-year-old Bean was in the Walmart Neighborhood Market Aug. 8 with his wife when a 20-year-old man wearing body armor and holding a loaded rifle and handgun walked into the store.
The incident came just days after 22 people were killed during an attack at another Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
“My mind immediately went to El Paso,” recalled Beam, who reached out to JEMS the day after the incident.
Both Bean and the man who would ultimately be charged, Dimitriy N. Andreychenko, were carrying firearms on them that day. Missouri has not required anyone since January 2017 to hold a permit to openly or carry a firearm for those 19 years of age or older.
Bean said he was the one who drew his gun on Andreychenko and possibly prevented tragedy. Repeated calls and emails to the Greene County Prosecuting Attorney's Office and the Springfield Police Department by JEMS to confirm Bean’s account were not returned.
While previous news reports indicated Bean, who was not publicly identified until now, was an off-duty fireman, he’s not currently on active duty. He previously served with the Logan-Rogersville Fire Protection District and is also a former licensed EMT.
Despite not being a firefighter or EMT, Bean said being a first responder is ingrained into his mind.
“Even though I’m not working [as an EMT now], that’s where my mind immediately goes,” he said.
Andreychenko was charged with making a terrorist threat in the second degree. Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson said Andreychenko recklessly caused risk by causing the Walmart to be evacuated and through implied threat by causing people to believe they were in danger.
Andreychenko, who recorded the entire incident on his cell phone, said he was testing his constitutional right to bear arms. The Associated Press reports Andreychenko said his intention was to buy grocery bags while at the store.
The rifle had a loaded magazine inserted, but a round was not chambered. A handgun on his right hip was loaded with one round in the chamber, according to the Associated Press.
Andreychenko said he bought the rifle and body armor because of three recent shootings and a stabbing, and said he wanted to protect himself.
"I wanted to know if Walmart honored the Second Amendment," a probable cause statement released Friday with the charges quoted Andreychenko as saying.
Police said no shots were fired, and no one in the store was hurt. A local police officer and another person were injured in a collision as the officer responded to the Walmart.
If convicted, Andreychenko faces up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, according to the prosecutor's office.
Bean told JEMS when the store manager pulled the fire alarm, he and his wife started to evacuate the store like everyone else. He even remembers looking back to make sure the gunman was not behind them.
Bean saw Andreychenko outside still holding on to his weapons, which is when Bean drew his.
“I said put your hands up and he did. He said: ‘Do you want to hold onto my rifle?’ and I said no keep your hands up,” said Bean.
“I called 911 so there would be no confusion once police arrived,” he said. Bean said he did not want police to think he was a threat.
Bean said police were professional throughout and insists he is not a hero. Still, the “what if” causes Bean concern.
“If I wasn’t there, I’m worried there might have been a loss of life,” he said.