LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Five people were charged Tuesday in connection with the take-over robbery at a Nordstrom Rack department store in Westchester involving 14 hostages.
Troy Marsay Hammock, 29, and Everett Oneal Allen, 24, face 14 counts each of second-degree robbery and one count each of assault with a deadly weapon, identified as a knife.
Rochelle Monique Sherman, 33; and Paula Roneshia Bradley, 29, were charged with one count each of accessory after the fact.
All 4 pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday.
Raymond Sherman Jr., 34, considered the ringleader and most violent in the group, was charged with two counts of forcible rape, one count of oral copulation, one count of kidnapping for rape, one count of assault with a deadly weapon and 14 counts of second-degree robbery.
Sherman Jr. was arrested in Phoenix on Saturday and is still awaiting extradition.
He is believed to have sexually assaulted a Nordstrom Rack employee — one of the 14 hostages taken — according to multiple law enforcement sources.
Sources said police had strong evidence linking the suspects to the crime, including physical evidence and security camera video.
Police also say one of those arrested was a former employee at the store.
The incident began around 11 p.m. Thursday at the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center, after the store had closed for the night.
One of the employees called her husband, instructing him to call 911.
The LAPD called a tactical alert and closed off the area around the shopping center.
LAPD SWAT officers surrounded the store, finally making entry around 3:30 a.m. and freeing the hostages, all employees.
At least three of the employees were injured, including one woman who was sexually assaulted.
Another woman was stabbed in the neck, and a third employee was pistol-whipped, police said.
It was not immediately clear if the robbers hid inside the store or if they gained entrance after it closed.
Police also would not say how long they remained in the store before fleeing or how much cash was taken in the robbery.