By Gina Yarbrough
Santee, CA–A man armed with dumbbells, knives, and a hatchet, and threatened to hurt people at a retail store, sparked a seven-hour standoff with Sheriff’s deputies in East County, authorities said.
The incident was reported just after 12 p.m. at the Walmart in the 100 block of Town Center Parkway in Santee.
A 22-year-old man entered the store and went to the sporting goods department where he climbed on top of the shelving. Store employees called the Sheriff’s Department after the man armed himself with workout dumbbells and threatened to use them as weapons. The man also told employees he wanted deputies to shoot him.
When deputies arrived at the store, the man was in possession of two knives and a hatchet. He made threats to kill deputies and told them he wanted deputies to kill him.
Out of an abundance of caution, the Walmart store was evacuated and closed down for several hours.
The Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Detail and Crisis Negotiations Team were called to assist with the incident. During negotiations, deputies determined the man was experiencing a mental health crisis. The man refused to drop his weapons and refused to come down off the shelving. He told deputies several times to shoot him and walked toward them with the hatchet raised.
Deputies used de-escalation techniques and the crisis team was able to negotiate a peaceful surrender after seven hours. No one was hurt.
The man was taken into custody without incident and transported to a hospital for a mental health evaluation.