WEST COVINA, Calif. (AP) — The man was in the store's tool section and went unnoticed until he began grabbing several small saws, including one meant to cut sheet rock, and started using them on his arms.
"He cut both arms with hand saws down to the bone," said West Covina police Cpl. Rudy Lopez.
Officers received several 911 calls and arrived to find the man lying unconscious in the aisle in a pool of blood.
An off-duty paramedic from the Pasadena Fire Department had been shopping nearby, and with help from police collected twine and rags from store shelves and put makeshift tourniquets on both arms, a move Lopez said probably saved the man's life.
The man was in surgery hours after the incident, said Lopez, who knew no more about his condition.
The man, who looked to be in his 40s, was carrying no identification, has been unable to answer questions, and was not heard saying anything in the store, so police do not know his name or why he cut himself, Lopez said.
Police interviewed about five people who said they saw what happened, and Lopez said there were likely many more who quickly left the disturbing scene.
"It was pretty graphic," he said.