Inside The LA Mall Hostage Standoff
UPDATE: All hostages have been freed and the two suspects remain at large. Trapped in a theater as a SWAT Team faces off with hostage-takers at a Nordstrom Rack in Culver City, a moviegoer tells his story.
At sometime after 10 PM this evening, a robbery at a Nordstrom Rack store in the Howard Hughes Center in Culver City turned into a four hour standoff with police. The two suspects held 14 employees hostage, stabbing one and sexually assaulting another. The Center was surrounded by SWAT teams and placed in lockdown. Above the Nordstrom, the Rave movie theater was locked down and patrons who were there held in place until the situation resolved.
BuzzFeed made contact with one of the theater patrons being held inside and held the following exchange as events unfolded:
Update, 7:25 AM EST: The patrons inside the Rave theater are being told they will be able to leave within the half hour.
Update, 7:35 AM EST: The AP is reporting 14 people who were inside the Nordstrom Rack are safe.
Update, 8:02 AM EST: ABC 7 is reporting that the suspects' car (a white Ford Explorer) has been abandoned in the area. The two suspects remain at large.
Update, 10:23 AM EST: The AP is now reporting that the hostage takers were attempting to rob the Nordstrom Rack, as opposed to hiding there after a failed robbery at another location, as earlier reported in this article. The suspects remain at large and the stab wound received by one hostage was described as non-life threatening.