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:
For those just tuning in hostage situation at Nordstroms Rack at Howard Hughes center has led to the rave cinema being held under lockdown— BuzzFeedEntmnt
Police scanner reports about 200 people being held in place in the theater— BuzzFeedEntmnt
@BuzzFeedEnt I’m nervous and many other people are too. Not much info is given but there is a hostage situation. Movies are being replayed.— Simeon Campbell
@BuzzFeedEnt A mixture of both. But most of us just want to go home.— Simeon Campbell
@BuzzFeedEnt Well, we are split up into two theaters. I would say about 50 people. Some people went elsewhere.— Simeon Campbell
@BuzzFeedEnt In one it is Zero Dark Thirty and the one I’m in is Gangster Squad.— Simeon Campbell
@BuzzFeedEnt Its quite here too we can’t leave the theater. People are just waiting and watching.I want to go out the theater to see but :(— Simeon Campbell
@BuzzFeedEnt Everyone is just sitting around ready to leave the movie is irrelevant now. Rave will be giving us tickets to come back.— Simeon Campbell
@BuzzFeedEnt Concessions is closed!— Simeon Campbell
@BuzzFeedEnt Not from my end. People are getting annoyed and nervous!— Simeon Campbell
I’m getting to that point. Everyone else is too!! “@GerryDuggan: @Simisim04 @BuzzFeedEnt Demand to go home or you’ll take hostages.”— Simeon Campbell
@BuzzFeedEnt Could be we are confined to the two back theater upstairs far away from the entrance which is the closest to Nordstroms!— Simeon Campbell
@BuzzFeedEnt HaHA no singing lol! Some people are watching the movie and others are hanging out outside the doors to theater 16.— Simeon Campbell
@BuzzFeedEnt Ok will do. We are all waiting to hear gun shots. But who knows. We are all on the edge of our seats. We have had enough.— Simeon Campbell
@BuzzFeedEnt Yes we are stuck in the movie theater. We have been here for hours. LAPD swat team made everyone move away from windows.— Simeon Campbell
Details from the police scanner about nordstroms scene is very grim. This is going to be an ugly story when it can be told— BuzzFeedEntmnt
@PamelaChelin @richardrushfield @OG_Spoon we just wanted to see a movie and this held us up— Dominic O
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.