Officers were dispatched to an ongoing armed robbery at the Panda Express on Airport Boulevard Wednesday only to find out management was conducting an unreported training exercise.

According to public information officer Cpl. LaDerrick DuBose, police received a call from Interface Alarms shortly before 9 a.m. this morning explaining that one of the businesses they monitor with a live video feed was being robbed.

In actuality, the restaurant was conducting a training exercise for employees on how to respond to an armed intruder or armed robbery and had set off the alarm as part of it.

A witness at a nearby business said he saw officers approach the rear of the building with drawn rifles, while others took up tactical positions in bushes along some of the adjacent buildings.

He told Lagniappe: “It definitely looked serious.” 

Fortunately, Dubose said officers were able to ascertain what was going on quickly by making contact with a manager. No one was harmed during the incident, and no shots were fired.

“They made contact with the manager, who advised that they were conducting a training exercise and that no robbery was occurring,” Dubose wrote via email. 

After the confusion was sorted out, all parties were released without incident, but the restaurant was ticketed for purposefully setting off its alarm.

Panda Express was also instructed to notify MPD in the future to alleviate any future misunderstanding.