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Few props, long security lines expected at Phoenix Comicon after armed man arrested

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PHOENIX — Few costume props will be allowed inside Phoenix Comicon and officials were warning of long lines amid heightened security after an armed man was arrested Thursday.

The ban on props originally pertained just to weapons, but was later expanded to include all props. It was revised again Friday morning to allow some props, primarily limited to clothing.

Vendors will be allowed to sell props at Comicon, but they must remain wrapped and officials urged people to take their purchases to their car or hotel room as soon as possible.

Comicon also reduced the number of entrances to the event. There were only three:

  • Second Street between Washington and Monroe streets
  • Third Street at Washington Street
  • Third Street at Monroe Street

Those who needed to pick up their badges will only be allowed access at the entrance at Third and Monroe streets.

Because of the reduced numbers of entrances and intensified screening process, the Phoenix Police Department said attendees should be prepared for long lines.

“Expect some delays throughout the weekend,” Phoenix Police Sgt. Mercedes Fortune said during a press conference.

A public party held on Third Street — Con on Third — was closed to the public. Only those with entrance badges will be allowed to attend.

The decision to not allow any props was made after Mathew Sterling, 31, was arrested inside the event. He was carrying four guns, wearing body armor and allegedly planned to kill police officers.

He was booked Friday on one count of attempted murder, three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, wearing body armor during the commission of a felony, resisting arrest and carrying a weapon in a prohibited place.

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