An armed man attempted to rob a Costco in Northridge Monday night, forcing evacuations of the store.
The incident took place on the 8800 block of Tampa Avenue around 7:30 p.m. when the suspect, who was armed with a handgun, attempted a smash-and-grab robbery with a hammer in hand.
Workers and shoppers thought the incident was an active shooter situation and took shelter by hiding in different areas of the store and running to their vehicles in the parking lot.
Local news from across Southern California
"I've never seen anything like it," said employee Brandon Garcia. "I had people in my car that I didn't even know, but I mean, the most important thing is to get everyone safe," he said.
Mikhael Sargsyan was shopping at the store when the attempted robbery took place and got mistaken for the suspect.
"Everybody came and threw handcuffs at me," he said. "They started emptying my pockets and took my wallet."
"I'm definitely never shopping at Costco again."
The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that the store was evacuated, but no shots were fired.
Several people were detained and later released, but the suspect blended with the crowd and escaped.
The suspect was described as a white man in his 30s, he was wearing a baseball cap and a painting mask.