Late Thursday night, a gunman stormed into a Nordstrom Rack clothing store, taking 14 of the employees hostage in a four hour stand-off with the police.
The incident, which occurred near the Los Angeles International Airport, began at about 11:00 p.m. when the store was closed. A man called 911 and reported that his girlfriend, who was inside the store, called and said that she had seen the gunmen.
That’s when police and special weapons teams swarmed the shopping center.
The officers saw a man leave the second-floor store, but he ran back inside when they tried to contact him, Neiman said.
Moments later, another man came out with a woman, but when he saw the police he grabbed her and pushed her back inside, Neiman said.
SWAT members surrounded the location but weren’t able to talk to anyone inside during the four-hour standoff.
When they finally got into the store, they found hostages locked in a storage room and others in a bathroom, Lt. Andy Neiman said.
At least one person was sexually assaulted by the robbers and another was stabbed (wound is not life threatening). Reports of one other being pistol-whipped are not confirmed.
Police did not find the robbers. They are searching for at least two men and are trying to determine if an abandoned car in the neighboring Culver City served as a getaway car.
This story is developing.