Salt Lake City police closed a Rite Aid store on North Temple on Wednesday afternoon for several hours after a man allegedly entered carrying a Molotov cocktail and barricaded himself in the pharmacy area.
The man was taken into custody at about 4 p.m., after he was talked into surrendering by police negotiators. He was alert and looking around as he was transported from the store by stretcher to an ambulance. He was taken to the hospital for treatment, where he remained on Thursday morning, police said.
SWAT, an ambulance and a fire engine responded to the Rite Aid near 900 W. North Temple, and officers closed off the parking lot as a precaution.
Salt Lake police Detective Josh Ashdown said the incident started about 2 p.m. when the 48-year-old man, who appeared to be “despondent,” or emotionally withdrawn, entered the store carrying a clear container filled with gasoline and a rag hanging out of the top. He made his way toward the pharmacy and somehow got back by the medications.
Employees and customers called for help and were evacuated from the building as police responded. No one was injured and nothing was taken or destroyed in the pharmacy, police said.
Irene Middleton, who lives in the neighborhood, said everyone in the area knows the man.
“I kinda’ felt sorry for him,” Middleton said. “It is just so sad people go that way. I hope they get him some help.”
The investigation is ongoing and police aren’t sure what, if any, charges will be filed.