4TH UPDATE, MARCH 17: LAPD has taken 25-year-old Nicholas K. Oates into custody as a suspect after a call was made from Westfield’s Century City Mall saying there was an active shooter situation.
As reported earlier, there was “no evidence of a shooting or any victims.” In a recent report from the LAPD and LAFD, Oates was seen as a suspect in the incident. It was said that he entered a store and took several books from shelves and began to light them on fire. An employee attempted to stop him, but he pulled out a gun, which caused the employee to evacuate the store. The suspect fled the scene.
On March 16, Westfield Century City security found a vehicle that was possibly driven by the suspect. Later that evening, Oates was spotted in Venice Beach and he was taken into custody.
3RD UPDATE, 4:20 PM: LAPD officers are saying there is “no evidence of a shooting or any victims” at the Westfield Century City Mall and are telling people still inside that they can “calmly exit the location.”
2ND UPDATE, 2:15 PM: The LAPD has confirmed there is no active shooter but that it is investigating a suspicious package. The mall continues to be on lockdown.
“Please Be Patient In/Around The Century City Mall,” the LAPD wrote in a Twitter update. “No Active Shooter at the time, however the officers are at scene investigating a suspicious package in the mall and need to ensure safety to all. Please be careful and respectful to each other and let’s all Be Safe!”
UPDATED, 1:44 PM: Police now say they are responding to calls of “man with a gun,” correcting earlier tweet about “active shooter.”
PREVIOUSLY: Los Angeles police are responding to calls of an active shooter at the Westfield Century City Mall. Officers were clearing the buildings and telling people either to evacuate or shelter in place. LAPD thus far is reporting “no evidence of a shooting or victims.”
Police also were investigating a suspicious package inside.
The first calls came in at about 12:45 p.m. Local media is reporting that a man with a gun was seen on video surveillance. He is described as a man in his late teens. No word on whether he remains at the scene or has fled. For now the search appears to be centered on the Bloomingdale’s building in the large mall, which also houses the AMC Century City 15 multiplex.
The situation is playing out during the busy lunch hour in an area that’s close to several entertainment-related companies including CAA, ICM Partners, A&E Networks and Ziffren Brittenham.
Video from the scene shows police vehicles posted at all of the mall’s entrances, and the surrounding streets — Santa Monica Boulevard, Avenue of the Stars, Century Park West and Constellation Boulevard — appear to be closed, but that has not been confirmed.
Coincidentally, the LAPD is scheduled to perform a large-scale active-shooter drill Saturday at City Hall.
The news comes the day after at least 49 people were killed in attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The gunman livestreamed the assault on Facebook.