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.
His condition remains unknown.
There are several psychological disorders that can bring an individual to conduct self-amputation.
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."