Fourteen Nordstorm Rack employees are safe after an hours-long armed robbery hostage situation was resolved early this morning.The hostage situation at the Promenade at Howard Hughes centre in Los Angeles began around 11 p.m. local time when an employee’s boyfriend called 911 and said his girlfriend told him armed robbers were in the store, The Associated Press reported Friday morning.
The situation was resolved around 3 a.m., but the suspects managed to escape.
When police entered the store, they found hostages hiding in the back room and the bathroom, ABC 7 reported.
One woman held hostage in the store was sexually assaulted while another woman was stabbed in the neck but her injuries aren’t life threatening, The Los Angeles Times reported Friday morning.
A third hostage was pistol whipped, police told the Times.
At some point during the standoff, one suspect left the store but ran back inside after seeing police surrounding the building, The Los Angeles Times reported.
A second suspect also left the store with an unidentified woman during the night but went back inside after seeing police.
The suspects were able to get away with an undisclosed amount of cash, according to the Times.
The store is in an outdoor shopping centre that was closed at the time of the incident. However, the shopping centre’s movie theatre was open.
Moviegoers were forced to say inside the theatre while police tried to enter the store.
“It was just like shocking, because you come out and they’re like, ‘Uh, you can’t leave to your cars because if you go outside, there’s a possibility you’re going to get shot because they have high-powered rifles at Nordstroms,'” moviegoer Logan Kelly told ABC 7.
Friday’s incident isn’t the first retail hostage situation to be reported in recent months.
Back in September a man held a store manager at a Denver RadioShack hostage during a six-hour standoff.
“I don’t know if I was desperate for money or what,” suspect Taveuan Williams said in a jailhouse interview after the incident.
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