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Police arrest man armed with four guns, knives inside Phoenix Comicon

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PHOENIX — Police arrested an armed man Thursday who caused a disturbance inside of the Phoenix Convention Center where Phoenix Comicon is being held.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Mercedes Fortune said a person who knew the 30-year-old suspect alerted police to the situation about noon. The informant told police the suspect had made claims about harming police and was posting photos of officers on social media from inside the event.

The suspect was arrested by police after a short struggle. A Facebook post showed at least three officers were on the scene when he was arrested.

Fortune said the man was carrying four guns — including a shotgun — knives and ammunition. Prop weapons carried into the event are supposed to be inspected and tagged, but the suspect’s weapons were not.

Police believe the suspect acted alone.

“This incident is an isolated incident,” Fortune said. “It is not part of a grander scheme.”

Fortune said no prop weapons would be allowed at Comicon because of the situation.

“Keep in mind, this is for everyone’s safety,” she said, adding that prop weapons should be left at home or in cars.

Fortune also said extra security would be put in place over the weekend and the number of entry and exit points would be cut down, which could lead to long lines.

“Expect some delays throughout the weekend,” she said.

Convention Director Matthew Solberg confirmed the changes, saying in a Facebook post that officials will be “implementing enhanced screening to ensure the safety of all our attendees.”

The screening, Solberg said, “includes three dedicated access points, no longer allowing costume props within our convention or the Convention Center and other methods as determined in conjunction with the Convention Center and Phoenix Police Department.”

Officials have also cut down on entry points for guests, limiting them to the West Building entrance at 2nd Street, between Washington and Monroe, Third Street at Washington and Third Street at Monroe.

In addition, costume props will no longer be allowed on-site and any props purchased will be wrapped by vendors and “must remain so while they’re on site.”

Solberg said these policies will start Friday.

Comicon began Thursday. It runs through Monday.

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