PALMDALE — A 19-year-old man was arrested Thursday night after he allegedly threatened to shoot up a Palmdale Vallarta while exposing what appeared to be a handgun, authorities said.
The man, whose name was not immediately released, was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats, according to Lt. Brian Dunn of the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station.
“Deputies found the suspect was in possession of a BB gun, which resembled a real handgun,” Dunn stated in a news release.
The incident happened around 7:20 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, after store employees detained an alleged shoplifter at the Vallarta located at 440 East Palmdale Boulevard. A man confronted employees and demanded that they release his brother, according to Dunn.
“When the employees refused to release his brother, the man reached under his jacket and grabbed what looked to the employees to be the hand grip of a handgun protruding from his pants pocket,” Dunn stated. “The suspect threatened the store would get shot up and it would be in the news if they did not let his brother go.”
The employees called 911, and deputies arrived with two minutes, according to Dunn.
“The deputies contained the location, immediately formed a tactical response entry team and entered the location looking for someone matching the description of the suspect,” Dunn stated. “The deputies located and detained a man fitting the description, who was immediately identified as the suspect by store employees,” Dunn stated.