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SANTA MONICA, Calif. – A grocery store security guard called authorities Monday night after he said he stabbed a customer in self-defense, according to the Santa Monica Police Department.

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Police said they got the call around 10:35 p.m. reporting a stabbing at the Vons supermarket at 710 Broadway.

In interviews with witnesses and the security guard, authorities said they learned that the injured man had earlier come into the store and caused a scene. He was not wearing a face mask at the time and assaulted a staff member who tried to approach him, investigators said.

The security guard intervened and tried to walk the customer out of the store, prompting a struggle and a fight, officials said.

“At one point during the fight, the security officer pulled out a small pocket-knife and stabbed the customer multiple times,” police said in a news release. “At the conclusion of the fight, the customer exited the main entrance, where he was located by officers.”

The man was taken to a hospital, where he was in stable condition Tuesday. Authorities said he refused to identify himself at the hospital or to provide any statements about the incident. No arrests were immediately made and officials said the security guard “fully cooperated during the investigation.”

Witness Andre Berryman told KCBS-TV that the incident “was all behind (the customer) not wearing a mask.” He told KABC-TV that he thought the security guard was just doing his job.

“It was a tussle, and then the security guard got really upset and pulled out a pocket knife and stabbed the guy,” he said, describing a bloody scene. “A lot of people came to break it up, pull them apart.”

Authorities continue to investigate.