LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police were searching for two armed robbers who escaped after storming into a Southern California department store, taking 14 employees hostage and attacking two of the captives.
One employee was stabbed and another was sexually assaulted before the three-hour ordeal ended early Friday at the Nordstorm Rack store at a shopping center near Los Angeles International Airport.
Nordstrom spokeswoman Tara Darrow said the gunmen committed a robbery before fleeing, but declined to describe what was stolen.
The hostage drama began about 11 p.m. Thursday, when a man reported his girlfriend had called to say gunmen were in the store, Los Angeles police Lt. Andy Neiman said.
"She told him: 'Call 911. Two guys with guns just came into our store,'" Neiman said.
Police officers and SWAT team members swarmed the shopping center that also has restaurants and a movie theater. The officers saw a man leave the second-floor store, but he ran back in, 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.