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14 hostages freed from LA shopping mall

One person was stabbed before police freed 14 people from a Nordstrom Rack south of Los Angeles.

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(Antler)

LOS ANGELES -- Police rescued 14 people who were being held hostage at a Southern California shopping mall after two armed men allegedly stormed the store as employees prepared to close late Thursday night. 

According to NBC Los Angeles, one person was sexually assaulted and another suffered stab wounds during the hostage situation.

A woman reported seeing two armed men enter the Nordstrom Rack at the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center near the Los Angeles International Airport., said LAPD spokesman Andy Neiman. 

The hostages were held in a storage area before they were freed during an early morning operation. 

Neiman said the hostages, whom the Los Angeles Times reports were all employees at the store, were being interviewed on Friday about the incident.

The family of a 19-year-old woman who was held hostage told the Los Angeles Times that they tried to reach her at the end of her shift Thursday, at about 11pm, but got no answer. 

"My sister finally called at 3 and asked if we could go get her at the mall," said the hostage's brother Irwun, 21, who also works at the Nordstrom Rack. "She was scared. She didn't want to talk about it. She was terrified."

A SWAT team managed to free the hostages around 3:30 a.m. but the two suspects have escaped. The store remained closed Friday as investigators searched for the suspects, reports AP. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130111/14-hostages-freed-la-shopping-mall