UNIVERSAL CITY (CBSLA.com) — Security questions have surfaced after a man killed himself at a popular theme park in Universal City.
Deputies responded to Universal Studios Hollywood Friday afternoon and located the man who died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) spokesperson.
Authorities said the incident happened in an area designated for smokers behind the Despicable Me ride and fun zone, which is the park’s newest attraction.
The incident was out of the view of many but children and families were nearby.
It remains unclear how the loaded gun made it onto park grounds as security personnel check bags and purses.
“The security measures that are in place right now don’t include pat-downs and don’t include wanding or metal detectors. They do include checking purses and bags,” Lt. Eddie Hernandez of the LASD said.
Investigators said the man had a restraining order against him but in the last few weeks continued to show up at the theme park, where his estranged girlfriend works. Security was notified when she saw him.
The deputy recognized the man from prior context and approached him.
“This individual stood up, turned around, retrieved a handgun from his back pocket or somewhere in his back area,” the lieutenant said.
The deputy said the man pulled the trigger 30 seconds later.
Footage posted via Twitter showed park employees disbursing water to park-goers, who were corralled into an area for safety reasons.
Erin Dolan, a park guest, said employees didn’t disclose much information.
“They were just very general so it makes sense now that they were obviously not wanting to broadcast that. There would probably be mayhem. There’s so many people in that park right now,” Dolan said.
Investigators said they plan to work with the park to look closer into their security measures and provide guidance moving forward.
The identity of the parties involved has not been released but authorities said the couple was estranged since February and have a child together.