Monday, May 18, 2009
A man was fatally shot at the entrance to the Beverly Center mall this afternoon, and police were searching for two suspects. [Updated at 5:15 p.m.: Police arrest one "person of interest" in connection with the shooting but were looking for a second suspect].
The shooting occurred just after 3 p.m. at the La Cienega Boulevard entrance to the popular Westside shopping center. All entrances and exits to the popular Westside shopping mall were sealed off as police swarmed the scene.
LAPD officials said that officers were sent to the mall on a report of a group fight, possibly involving a knife. LAPD Sgt. Ronnie Crump said two suspects ran in the direction of Beverly Hills.
At a Chipotle restaurant in the mall, several people were eating when the shots rang out.
“The customers were yelling ‘close the store, close the store, because somebody is shooting,’ ” said Elsa Hernandez, general manager of the restaurant.
An employee who was behind the restaurant, near the mall’s valet parking service, saw the tail end of the dispute, Hernandez said. “He saw a lady … shooting a handgun,” Hernandez said.
The center is normally quite peaceful, said Hernandez, who’s worked at the restaurant for six years. “This is the first time this has happened here,” she said.
– Andrew Blankstein and Sam Quinones
Photo: Police and fire officials responded to a shooting at the Beverly Center this afternoon. (Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times)
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