A man with a gun barricaded himself inside a Verizon store in La Crescenta Friday afternoon after he reportedly stole OxyContin from a nearby Rite-Aid store, according to Sheriff's officials.
Members of the Sheriff's crisis negotiation team have been in contact with the man by phone, said Sgt. Burton Brink, with the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station.
Deputies received a call around 4 p.m. about the OxyContin theft in the Marketplace shopping center, located at Foothill Boulevard and Rosemont Avenue, Brink said.
The man then fled to the nearby Verizon store.
The name of suspect, described as a Caucasion and about 5', 10" tall, was not immediately released, he said.
The man had threatened to kill himself, KTLA-TV Channel 5 reported.
Everyone in the Verizon store was evacuated and later deputies evacuated the entire shopping center.
Several of those evacuated were still on the scene because they couldn't get to their cars in the center's parking lot.
No injuries have been reported, Brink said.
For a local mother and daughter, the standoff was particularly nerve-wracking. Lisa Dean and her 14-year-old daughter, Ashley, who attends Crescenta Valley High School, were at the Ralphs in the shopping center moments before the incident.
Ashley left her mother to go to Verizon just as the gunman took refuge in the cellular phone store. Police directed Ashley to go to the nearby Rite-Aid for her safety.
The mother and daughter were separated for about an hour before being reunited.
Both of them said employees at Ralphs and Rite-Aid were generous during the ordeal, giving the people who were stranded free food and beverages.