Sleeping man thought to be armed in Alhambra standoff had gun-shaped cell phone case




ALHAMBRA >> Reports of an unconscious man inside a car with a handgun in the parking lot of an Alhambra shopping center drew a SWAT team response Friday morning, before police determined the “gun” was actually a pistol-shaped cellphone case, officials said.

Witnesses first reported seeing the man about 10:50 a.m. in a parking lot of a shopping center at the southeast corner of Fremont and Commonwealth avenues, Alhambra police Assistant Chief Elliot Kase said.

Officers headed to the scene to assess the situation, he said.

The man appeared to briefly wake up shortly before 1 p.m., and was seen moving inside the vehicle, before apparently falling back asleep, Kase said. Police were in contact with the man’s family.

Nearby stores such as Albertsons, Toys”R” Us and PetSmart were place on lockdown as the incident continued unfolding, Kase said.

Police used air horns and sirens in an attempt to rouse the man, to no effect, Sgt. Jerry Johnson said.

A sheriff’s SWAT team was summoned to take over the scene shortly after 2 p.m.

Nearly an hour later, SWAT deputies approached the parked SUV, Johnson said.

As the neared the vehicle, there were able to wake the driver and get his attention, according to the sergeant.

He obeyed police orders to exit the car with his hands up and was briefly detained, Johnson said. Officials then determined the reported handgun in his SUV was actually a cellphone case shaped to look like a handgun, Johnson said.

It appeared the man was simply very…

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