Suspect Arrested in Century City Active Shooter Scare


Los Angeles police have arrested Nicholas K. Oates, seen in security camera footage and mugshot, as a suspect in an active shooting scare that rattled Century City Friday. Photos: LAPD

25-year-old Nicholas K. Oates in custody.
By Sam Catanzaro

Los Angeles police have arrested a suspect in connection to an active shooter and bomb threat situation that rattled Century City on Friday, March 15.

At 12:42 on Friday, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) received multiple calls describing a “man with a gun” at Westfield Century City mall. Officers responded to the scene and evacuated the mall and began searching for a suspect. In addition, while proceeding with their search, officers were directed to a suspicious package located inside the Amazon Store.

The LAPD and the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) peacefully resolved the situation but had not immediately identified or found a suspect.

Early Saturday morning, the LAPD arrested 25-year-old Nicholas K. Oates of Missouri as a suspect in this incident after police found a car belonging to Oates. Officers impounded the vehicle as evidence and identified Oates.

Saturday night, while out working on an unrelated case, LAPD Pacific Division officers spotted the suspect sitting on the beach near the Venice Beach Boardwalk and took Oates into custody around 8 p.m.

The LAPD later arrested Oates on suspicion of arson and assault with a deadly weapon.

According to the LAPD, on Friday Oates entered a bookstore at Westfield Century City mall and began taking books off the shelves and lighting them on fire. An employee of the store confronted Oates, who then proceeded to draw a handgun and aim it at the employee.

The employee proceeded to evacuate the store and soon after police evacuated the entire mall.

The LAFD Arson Investigation unit and the LAPD Major Crimes Division worked on the case.

Oates remains in custody pending a $75,000 bail.

Police have not located the black semi-automatic handgun Oates is believed to have used.

Anybody with additional information about this case is encouraged to contact the LAPD by calling (213) 486-7260 or to remain anonymous (800) 222-8477.

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