UPDATE: At around 10 p.m. on Friday night, the LAPD announced via Twitter that “there was no evidence of a shooting [and] Bomb Squad determined the suspicious device was not an explosive.” Still, a suspect is being sought for arson/assault with a deadly weapon.
In a tweet dispatched at 10:42, they asked for help locating a potentially “armed and dangerous man” who fits the following description: “possibly Hispanic or Asian, 20-25 years old, 5’8” to 5’10”, 130-150 lbs.”
Arson/Assault With A Deadly Weapon suspect from the Century City Mall incident. Male, possibly Hispanic or Asian, 20-25 years old, 5’8” to 5’10”, 130-150 lbs. He is to be considered armed & dangerous. If seen, do not approach & call 911. Any info contact Major Crimes 213-486-7260 pic.twitter.com/J6ydu3TsVG
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) March 16, 2019
With the world on edge in the wake of the news out of New Zealand, reports of a possible gunman at the Westfield Century City spread rapidly through L.A. this afternoon. However, it’s still unclear whether there was, in fact, a gunman on the loose.
Around 12:42 p.m., police were called to the shopping center, the Los Angeles Times reports. Social media photos and videos from the scene saw shoppers and mall employees exiting stores and restaurants as police swept the mall and surveilled the scene from helicopters above.
It appears that the suspected gunman was at the Amazon store, perhaps attempting a robbery. While the suspect himself was not caught by police, they are reported to be looking into a possible “suspicious package” found at the Amazon shop.
LAPD West LA Division is responding to calls of an “Active Shooter” at the Century City Mall. We have officers on scene who are clearing the location, but at this time we have NO evidence of a shooting or victims.
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) March 15, 2019
The story continues to develop rapidly, and Santa Monica Boulevard near the mall remains shut down as the investigation continues.