It was a scary scene at Universal Studios in Hollywood on Friday afternoon as the ex-boyfriend of a park employee committed suicide inside the park. The man had brought a gun into the theme park and ended up being confronted by security near the Despicable Me attraction before taking out the weapon and shooting himself.
The LA Times reported that the shooting happened at 2:15 p.m. and firefighters arrived at Universal Studios at 2:29 p.m. after receiving a report of a medical emergency. Homicide investigators were also called to the scene before, but it was being ruled as a possible suicide at the time.
He was pronounced dead at the scene and his name had not been released.
“We know he and his girlfriend have been estranged since February,” sheriff’s homicide Lt. Eddie Hernandez said. “She had a restraining order against him, and today she saw him outside the restaurant and she alerted security.”
His ex-girlfriend works as a waitress at Mel’s Diner, and she called security to alert them of his presence around 2 p.m. Her ex-boyfriend, and father of her child, was walking around nearby when park security officers called the Sheriff’s Department.
A deputy arrived at Universal Studios and saw the man standing around in a smoking area near the “Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem” attraction. The man was sitting down and smoking when the deputy asked him to stand up.
As he stood up, the man pulled out a gun and shot himself. The sheriff’s deputy tried talking him out of shooting himself, but he went through with it anyway, per the Denver Post.
“The man then pulled out a gun from the small of his back or his back pocket” and shot himself, Hernandez said.
Like at many theme parks such as Universal Studios, Disneyland, and Walt Disney World, the belongings of guests are searched through by security at the park entrances. There are no metal detectors or wands used and that is how the man was able to bring the gun into the park as he had it on his person.
After the shooting happened, a spokeswoman for Universal Studios advised that the park was going to remain open. They were also cooperating fully with the investigation taking place by authorities.
The suicide shooting at Universal Studios in Hollywood is one that may have a lot of theme parks reconsider their park entrance methods and how they check the belongings of guests.
[Image via Flickr]