LOS ANGELES — Police were searching a mall in Westside Los Angeles Friday after reports of a gunman there, but officers did not find any immediate evidence of a shooting.
Social media reports of an armed man at Westfield Century City prompted panic for some shoppers at the busy mall around 12:30 p.m. A significant number of Los Angeles Police Department officers were called to the scene and began searching the area for signs of a gunman as visitors streamed out of the building.
Shortly after 1 p.m., LAPD said there was no immediate evidence of a shooting or any victims. The department urged anyone still at the mall to “remain calm and shelter in place” until officers gave them further instructions.
Officers were asking for more resources to help clear the expansive shopping center, according to KTLA. The man was described as in his “late teens” and callers said he had a handgun. Police believe the suspect was captured on surveillance camera.
Late Friday, LAPD tweeted it was seeking to identify an “arson/assault with a deadly weapon suspect” from the incident. He was described as a possibly Asian or Hispanic man between 20 and 25 years old with black hair, between 5’8″ and 5’10” and weighing between 130 and 150 pounds. He was wearing a white headband, a blue hoodie, a grey vest, blue or black pants, dark tennis shoes and a lightweight backpack with white lettering.
LAPD’s head of counter terrorism told the Los Angeles Times they were investigating reports of a man trying bringing a box into the Amazon store and trying to light it on fire. The department’s bomb squad was called to make sure the box didn’t pose a threat, according to the newspaper.