A man waving a gun in the middle of the Gaslamp Quarter prompted police to shut down several city blocks during the lunch hour Friday, before they realized the gun was a fake.
The man was spotted near 5th Avenue and F Street in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter just before 1 p.m.
The man walking down 5th Avenue pointed a gun at witness John Carmichael. A U.S. Navy employee, Carmichael told NBC 7 he could tell immediately that it was fake.
"To me, he was kind of joking so it didn't bother me too much," said Carmichael. "He pointed it at me, I put my hands up and he just walked away. It was pretty odd."
The man with the gun then walked into the Tipsy Crow bar, giving everyone inside a scare.
Kitchen worker David Nelson was told by his boss to take cover.
"I took a knife and went into the office and locked it because he already said there was a cop situation," said Nelson. "So I had no idea what was going on. I was freaked out for sure."
Several patrol cars blocked foot and vehicle traffic in about a one-block radius.
Approximately 30 minutes later, the man was in custody. Officers confirmed the man was carrying a replica gun that had been spray painted to look real.
The bar was searched and nothing was found, police said.
No one was injured.