Phoenix Comicon security: 4 changes coming after armed man arrested

Posted at 4:32 PM, May 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-26 14:04:18-04

Those planning to attend Phoenix Comicon this weekend need to know about security enhancements being added.

The increased security comes after a man managed to make his way past security on Thursday and into the Phoenix Convention Center with multiple real guns, including a shotgun.

It also comes days after the tragedy in the United Kingdom where 22 people were killed when a man detonated an explosive after Ariana Grande's concert.

Before you go to downtown Phoenix, here is what you need to know.

GUIDE: Everything you need to know before Phoenix Comicon 2017

Leave the props at home
Officials will be on the lookout for anything that resembles a weapon, real or not, including costume props made from foam or cardboard.  If you bring it to the Convention Center, you will not be allowed in, according to Phoenix police and Comicon officials. Leave them at home or in the car.

Because of some confusion, Comicon officials sent out an update Friday morning with a listing. Anything else is up to security direction.

  • Anything that resembles a weapon (swords, knives, throwing stars, clubs, bats, shields, hammers, bows, light sabers, phasers) are not allowed.
  • Wands, sonic screwdrivers, plushies, masks, fairy wings, empty holsters, fur suits, carboard-made costumes and non-weapon props, hats, helmets, Power Ranger morphers, umbrellas are allowed.

Added security screening
Police said all Comicon attendees will have to go through an added security screening. Make sure to give yourself extra time to go through the screening. More than 110,000 people are expected to attend Comicon this weekend.

Fewer entry points
Police have reduced the number of entrances into Comicon. That, along with the security screening, will likely cause a wait to get in -- another reason to get there early and give yourself extra time. Be patient.

The three entrance points are:

  • Second Street between Washington and Monroe
  • Third Street at Washington Street
  • Third Street and Monroe (badges can only be picked up here)

More officers around
Expect to see more law enforcement officers around the Phoenix Convention Center and inside the exhibition hall, police said.

See something? Say something!
As always, if something seems out of place, let a law enforcement officer know about it.

"Con on 3rd" no longer open to public 
A Comicon badge will now be required to access Con on 3rd, Phoenix Comicon announced. It is no longer open to the public.

Phoenix Comicon released the following statement after Thursday's event:

On Thursday, the opening day of Phoenix Comicon, a man in his 30s was arrested with four guns, ammunition and knives, after managing to get past security into the Convention Center.

Police said they were alerted to the situation after an "associate" of the suspect noticed the unidentified man posting photos of officers on social media from the event. A spokeswoman said the man resisted arrest, but was taken into custody. He did not have a chance to point a gun at officers or guests, the spokesperson said.