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Nordstrom Rack hostage scene: Mall to remain closed Friday

January 11, 2013 |  3:27 pm

The Westchester mall where two men took 14 employees of a Nordstrom Rack hostage will be closed throughout the rest of the day, police said Friday.

No suspects were in custody and the victims have gone home after being interviewed by investigators, said Lt. Gus Villanueva of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Two armed men held the hostages starting at 11 p.m. Thursday. The suspects fled early Friday morning, and police entered the store about 2 a.m., freeing the 14 employees. People also were locked down in a nearby movie theater for several hours.

Throughout the morning and afternoon, the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center, which is home to restaurants and retail shops, remained quiet.

Investigators could be seen leaving the Nordstrom Rack, where the hostage incident occurred, carrying brown evidence bags. Other officers huddled near police vehicles.

Brooke White, a Nordstrom corporate spokeswoman, said the company is currently providing counselors to employees by phone.

She said management and law enforcement are looking at opening the store Friday, but could not give any specifics.

“We are just looking at what it will take to do that,” she said.

If the store remains closed, White said, free counseling will be available in person at a nearby Nordstrom location.

“Our priority is our employees,” she said.

It was unknown when the mall would reopen. Mall management could not be reached for comment.

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-- Matt Stevens in Westchester and Nicole Santa Cruz

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