Nordstrom Rack Robbery, Hostage Situation in Wetchester Neighborhood, Los Angeles

Los Angeles Police tell AP that suspects are under arrest, in the armed robbery of a department store Thursday night. 14 people were taken hostage for several hours during the holdup.

Los Angeles police responded about 11 p.m. Thursday at the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center, near the 405 Freeway in the Westchester suburban neighborhood of Los Angeles. LAPD called a tactical alert and closed off the area around the shopping center.

As of Sunday evening, LAPD released few details, other than information confirming they had arrested at least two suspected gang members, including at least one at a Phoenix motel Saturday.

SWAT officers arrived, and surrounded the store. One suspect exited, saw the police and ran back inside. A second suspect walked out with an unidentified woman, saw police and also headed back inside the store. The suspects apparently fled in an SUV. Police secured the store at about 3:30 a.m. At least three employees were injured, including one woman who was sexually assaulted. One of the injured women was stabbed in the neck and sustained non-life-threatening wounds, the other injured employee was pistol-whipped. At least two employees hid in a restroom, LAPD officials said. Others were herded into a storage room by the robbers, except for the woman who was sexually assaulted at another location in the store.

Information is currently not available whether the robbers hid in the store or gained entrance after it closed.

Unnamed sources say police have strong evidence linking the men to the crime, including physical evidence and security camera video.

Westchester is the location of Los Angeles International Airport, Loyola Marymount University, and Otis College of Art and Design.


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