14 People Held Hostage at Mall in Armed Robbery That Included Stabbing and Sexual Assault
SEE UPDATES BELOW
Authorities say that a woman is being held hostage by two armed men at the Nordstrom Rack at the Howard Hughes Center. Details are sketchy, but @LAScanner and @Venice311 have been listening to the scanner fire intently since the incident started around 11 pm. Police told NBC Los Angeles that the armed pair took the woman to the back of the store. The store closes at 10 pm.
The situation is still ongoing, but here's the insane story as it unfolded (so far) in real time over the scanner:
WESTCHESTER: Bunch of folks w/ pistolas inside Nordstrom Rack @ Howard Hughes Ctr. Robbery perchance? LAPD rolling.— @LAScanner (@LAScanner) January 11, 2013
LAPD asking for units from outside division and more backup - now a car is peeling out at high rate of speed now PURSUIT— Venice 311 (@Venice311) January 11, 2013
People inside Nordstrom Rack with guns robbing the place, Center Dr. 1 billion cops on way— Venice 311 (@Venice311) January 11, 2013
WESTCHESTER *Update: LAPD has 1 bad guy inside Nordstrom Rack. Cops galore @ Howard Hughes Ctr.— @LAScanner (@LAScanner) January 11, 2013
WESTCHESTER *Update: White SUV bailed fast outta Howard Hughes Ctr. LAPD trying to pursue. Units have lost vehicle. No headlights.— @LAScanner (@LAScanner) January 11, 2013
Now there are two suspects inside with a hostage.... yipes....— Venice 311 (@Venice311) January 11, 2013
WESTCHESTER *Update: LAPD says 2 suspects inside Nordstrom w/ possible hostage. Airship enrte to the scene. 2nd Airship req. for SUV search.— @LAScanner (@LAScanner) January 11, 2013
WESTCHESTER *Update: Suspects just turned off all store lights. LAPD says UNITS TAKE COVER!— @LAScanner (@LAScanner) January 11, 2013
oh shit, hostages husband is in contact with her via phone. what a horror show. CHP called to shut down offramp to complex— Venice 311 (@Venice311) January 11, 2013
WCHESTER: LAPD shutting down streets around Howard Hughes Ctr. Moviegoers there gonna be SURprised when those late shows end.— @LAScanner (@LAScanner) January 11, 2013
LAPD stating 1 confirmed hostage, possibly 15 additional employees at nordstrom rack where robbery was going down.— Venice 311 (@Venice311) January 11, 2013
sounds like the robbers are getting curious, peeking around... the fuzz has eyes on em.— Venice 311 (@Venice311) January 11, 2013
lapd requesting to dim all lights on 2nd level so officers aren't backlit, increases tactical advantage over hostage-taking robbing bad guys— Venice 311 (@Venice311) January 11, 2013
It looks like @LAScanner and @Venice311 are settling into a long graveyard shift, but TV news crews arrived on the scene well after midnight. In the meantime, the folks who went to see "Gangster Squad" at The Bridge are stuck in the theater for a show they didn't expect:
UPDATE 8:15 AM
By Lindsay William-Ross
Still considered an active investigation, more details about last night's tense standoff at the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center have become available.
A total of 14 people had to be rescued from inside a storage room at the Nordstrom Rack where they were hiding, according to City News Service.
The situation began as an armed robbery, just after 10 p.m. Thursday, and the initial incident was reported by a spouse or boyfriend of an employee of the store, said Lt. Andy Neiman, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman, after that employee called him to tell him two men with handguns had entered the store at closing time, 10 p.m.
A man was seen running out of the store, but when he saw police, he darted back inside. Soon after, a man exiting the store with a woman also saw police, and forced the woman back into the store with him.
At 3:30 a.m. SWAT officers were able to enter the store, and freed the 14 people trapped and hiding inside.
Though all were in good condition, Neiman told KTLA that at least one of the victims had been stabbed and sustained a non-life threatening wound.
“There’s additional information that one of the victims was also sexually assaulted, and so that victim is being cared to at this time,” Neiman said.
The armed robbers were not on scene when SWAT performed the rescue.
This morning the gunman remain at large, however the white SUV believed to be their vehicle has been reportedly spotted at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Globe Avenue in Culver City.