The Straits Times
Published on Jan 12, 2013

Sexual assault, stabbing in US Nordstrom hostage drama


LOS ANGELES (AFP) - A woman was sexually assaulted and another victim was stabbed during a late-night hostage-taking that lasted into the early hours on Friday at a department store near Los Angeles (LA), police said.

Officers were looking for two suspects over what initially appears to have started out as an armed robbery, but which ended when 14 victims were rescued by Special Weapons And Tactics (Swat) teams at the Nordstrom Rack store in Westchester, southwest of LA.

Police were alerted shortly after 11.00 pm Thursday (Friday, 3pm Singapore time) when a female staff member reported that two armed men had entered the store, said LA Police Department (LAPD) spokesman Andy Neiman.

Officers scrambled and they surrounded the store, before calling in Swat reinforcements, he said.