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Q&A: Why was Walgreens evacuated in Citrus Heights on Sunday?

Citrus Heights Walgreens, Dewey Drive, suicide
File photo, Citrus Heights Walgreens at Greenback Lane and Dewey Drive.

Sentinel staff report–
Drivers traveling past the Walgreens store on Greenback Lane at Dewey Drive on Sunday night may have observed a heavy police presence outside the store, along with customers and employees evacuating the store.

So what was going on?

In response to a question from a reader about the incident, The Sentinel contacted Police Lt. Jason Baldwin, who said officers had been dispatched to the scene around 9:15 p.m. on Dec. 1, regarding a report of a possible handgun brandishing incident at the store.

“Upon arrival, the suspect saw officers and immediately retreated into the store, and shoppers and employees exited the location,” Baldwin said. Using a loud speaker, shoppers and employees were also asked to leave the building.

Baldwin said the suspect then exited the store after a few announcements were made by police from the front of the store. He was subsequently arrested without incident, but no firearm was located on him or in his vehicle.

Officers reviewed surveillance camera footage to track the man’s location in the store to ensure a weapon had not been discarded, but no weapon was ultimately located.

“At this time, it is believed that the suspect used a knife as the brandishing instrument,” the lieutenant said.

Baldwin said the person who made the initial report of brandishing chose to not press charges. However, the suspect, identified as 40-year-old James Palmer, was arrested for an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for narcotics possession.

Police said there were no reports of injuries, property damage or use of force during the incident.

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