Police swarmed an Alhambra parking lot Friday and put a shopping center on lockdown for several hours after receiving calls about an armed man in a car possibly having a medical issue, but authorities later determined the man was asleep and had a cellphone case shaped like a gun on his lap.
The incident began about 10:52 a.m. in the parking lot of the Albertsons grocery store located at Commonwealth and Fremont avenues. Responding officers found a man who appeared to be asleep or unconscious in the driver’s seat of a blue SUV with what appeared to be a gun next on his lap, the Alhambra Police Department reported.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Enforcement Bureau was called in and took over the investigation, police said.
Several stores including Albertsons and PetSmart were on lockdown as authorities were assessing the scene, and shoppers were not allowed to leave the stores or shopping center.
At about 2:35 p.m., the man surrendered peacefully after waking up, and exited his vehicle with his hands up, police reported.
Authorities determined the gun, was actually a cell phone case shaped like a gun.
The man did not need medical attention, and was not arrested, police said.
Stores in the shopping center resumed normal business operations by 4:30 p.m.