Los Angeles – A man who approached a security officer with a knife Friday in a popular Los Angeles-area shopping district was arrested after the officer fired multiple shots, police said.
No one was injured but the exchange caused chaos and fears of a mass shooting at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.
The man was caught and taken into custody about noon after fleeing the area just a few blocks from the famous Santa Monica Pier.
Police did not immediately release his name.
Police Lt. Candice Cobarrubias said the incident might have been a robbery attempt.
Siamak Kordestani of Los Angeles said he and colleagues were alarmed when they heard gunshots.
“I saw people, a few of them with dogs, actually running toward us and it dawned upon us that this was a shooting,” he said.
Kordestani said his group ran to a nearby store to take cover, and a worker locked the entrance behind them. He said conversations after the incident involved questions about the possibility of a mass shooting.
“It was pretty clear that there had been so many shootings throughout the country, including California, that (was) everyone’s first thought,” he said.
Kordestani said the area later returned to normal with workers taking lunch breaks and tourists strolling as police helicopters temporarily kept watch on the area.