More Details About Bizarre Armed Robbery That Led To 14 Employees Being Held Hostage
More details are emerging about last night's armed robbery at Nordstrom Rack—but still no suspects have been found.
Police say that the 14 people who were taken hostage by armed robbers were all employees of the store that were closing up for the night, according to City News Service. There were 13 women and one man. One female was sexually assaulted, another hostage stabbed, and police told the Los Angeles Times that one other hostage was "pistol-whipped." They were all treated at the scene and released.
Two employees hid in the restroom. The rest of the group was locked up in a storage room by the suspects. The woman who was sexually assaulted was separated from the group, The Times reported.
So far police haven't located the two suspects in the robbery, and details about how they conducted the robbery were sketchy. Police did find a vehicle near Washington Boulevard and Globe Avenue in Culver City that contained items that might have been related to the store, according to CNS. It's not clear how the suspects got into the store—whether they broke in or whether they hid in the store past closing.
The suspects seemed to play chicken with the police. Responding officers saw the suspect come out of the store and then run back in when he realized he was spotted. Later, a man left the store with a woman, but then forced the woman back into the store, police told CNS.
More than 200 moviegoers in the theater next door were on lockdown as the situation unfolded, and they weren't released until the hostages were, according to the Times.
Nordstrom told the Associated Press it will be offering counseling services to its employees. The mall was closed but was expected to reopen sometime today. Nordstrom Rack will remain closed. One 19-year-old female hostage called her family after the ordeal and asked to be picked up. Her brother Irwun, 21, told the Times, "She was scared. She didn't want to talk about it. She was terrified."