Police evacuated Netflix’s Hollywood studio lot on Thursday after a recently-fired employee reportedly called in saying he was on the premises with a gun. After an extended search throughout the area, the suspect was found blocks away, unarmed, per KTLA5.
The man allegedly called a fellow Netflix employee and told him that he had a gun and was “ready to take action.” Soon after receiving the report, police swarmed Sunset Bronson Studios, where Netflix and other media companies operate. All employees were evacuated, and the studio lot and surrounding businesses were locked down while police searched for who they believed was an armed suspect.
Though no active shooter was reported, many on social media falsely reported a scenario reminiscent to the shooting on YouTube’s headquarters last year. Netflix rapidly released a statement assuring this was not the case.
“We received a tip about a potential law enforcement incident. Police are conducting a sweep of the lot out of an abundance of caution. There is no immediate danger or threat to our employees. Feel free to share this information with your loved ones.”
Despite Netflix’s statement, many false reports swarmed social media from people who were likely misinformed, trying to pull a prank, or were otherwise looking for attention. These false reports mixed in with real reports from those who were on the locked down Sunset Bronson Studios (shown below from a tweet), led to a lot of confusion as to what was exactly happening.
— Allison Norlian (@AllisonNorlian) February 15, 2019
While Netflix and other surrounding businesses were on lockdown at the Sunset Bronson Studios, police found the caller blocks away from the Netflix studio lot. When taken into custody, he had no gun on him and had yet to enter the premises.
Police would not identify the man after taking him into custody and did not confirm whether or not he was a former Netflix employee. A studio lot security guard did identify him to the press as someone who had been fired the previous day, but gave no more details on the matter.
Officer Tony Im, from the LAPD, later told the press that the man was released from custody after it was determined that he wasn’t a credible threat and that no crime had been committed.
About an hour after police first arrived on the scene, the lockdown was lifted, and the people inside the Sunset Bronson Studios were allowed to carry on with their daily lives.