Customers at a Home Depot in West Covina, California, were unable to do a thing to stop a man determined to saw off his arms using tools he picked up in the store's aisles.
"He walked into the saw area, picked up a couple of saws in the saw area and started cutting both of his arms," said Cpl. Rudy Lopez of the West Covina Police Department.
The man had apparently sawed all the way down to the bone before police arrived to find him lying unresponsive in a pool of blood.
Pasadena Fire Captain Art Hurtado who happened to be shopping in the store with his wife said he initially thought "it was just going to be a crime scene and a fatality," but he soon discovered the man was still alive, if just barely.
Assisted by the officers, Hurtado managed to get the bleeding under control using makeshift tourniquets constructed from towel strips and quarter-inch nylon rope.
The man, who had no ID on him but was said to be in his 40s, was rushed to a nearby hospital where he underwent overnight surgery.
His condition remains unknown.
There are several psychological disorders that can bring an individual to conduct self-amputation.
For instance, a person suffering from body integrity identity disorder will arrive at the conclusion that living as an amputee will make them happier.
Associated disorders include xenomelia, which is defined as "the oppressive feeling that one or more limbs of one's body do not belong to one's self," and apotemnophilia, which is defined as "A compulsion to become, or appear to be, an amputee."
[screengrab via ABC News]