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Century City mall reopened after LAPD finds no evidence of shooting or explosive device

The Westfield Century City mall was evacuated Friday after police received reports of a man with a gun.

Westfield Century City Mall was reopened Friday evening after police found no evidence of a shooting and determined that a suspicious device was not an explosive, authorities said.

“There was no evidence of a shooting & Bomb Squad determined the suspicious device was not an explosive. We truly appreciate everyone’s patience in dealing with this lengthy incident,” the LAPD posted on Twitter.

Officers responded to initial reports of a man with a gun inside the mall’s Amazon store about 12:40 p.m., LAPD Officer Jeff Lee said. Moments of chaos broke out as shoppers ran outside while others sheltered inside stores, some believing there was an active shooter on the grounds.

“We are on lockdown sitting quietly waiting for more information,” said Giselle Abcarian, who was at the Zara store. “We saw a bunch of people running and panicked, so we ran to the closest safe place.”

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Some shoppers who were ordered to shelter in place inside the mall were allowed to evacuate several hours later.

Authorities later said that there was no evidence of a shooting or any victims and that LAPD’s bomb squad determined that a suspicious package inside the Amazon store was not an explosive.

Initially, offices and businesses near the mall were placed on lockdown, including the tenants of 1901 Avenue of the Stars, according to an email sent to tenants. Clementine Catering & Cafe, across the street from the mall, was one of the affected businesses, employee Katie Kelley said.

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“We did have some mall employees and patrons come over because they couldn’t get into the mall,” she said.

An employee at the cafe called police, and staff were instructed to lock their doors. The business was on lockdown for about 30 minutes and given the OK to open about 2 p.m., Kelley said.

“Everyone seemed very calm and collected” at first, Kelley said. “With the internet and social media, once there was an information sweep people started to become concerned.” The incident comes less than a day after 49 people were killed in terrorist attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The mall is one of the most upscale in Los Angeles. It recently wrapped up a $1-billion renovation.

alejandra.reyesvelarde@latimes.com

Twitter: @r_valejandra


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