Netflix’s Los Angeles studio had quite a scare today, after reports of a possible active shooter caused the company to lock down the building — in this case, the Sunset Bronson Studios which the company shares with CBS and local news channel KTLA.
But an LAPD spokesperson tells The Verge that the gunman never actually existed: “The suspect was never on site.” LAPD explained that a local resident phoned in a threat around 3:53pm PT. Police first responded by locking down the building, and later took a suspect into custody in a different location — a suspect who didn’t have a gun. The lockdown has since been lifted.
“We’ve now received an all clear from the LAPD. There was never an individual with a firearm on the property,” reads a statement issued by Netflix at 5:57pm PT.
Because Netflix is only one of the building’s occupants, it wasn’t immediately clear if the incident had anything to do with Netflix — but Forbes and the Los Angeles Times report that the suspect is a former Netflix employee. An LAPD spokeperson told The Verge that his employment status isn’t yet known, and Netflix told us it had nothing to add at this time.
A Netflix comms manager, Jenna Marotta, described the scene like this:
Netflix’s LA campus is on lockdown for a possible shooter. Helicopters overhead, police everywhere here. Roads closed. Employees were evacuated from one building to another. Just overheard one co-worker calling his grandma to allay her fears. Another scary day in America.— Jenna Marotta (@jennamarotta) February 15, 2019
David Hayter, perhaps best known as the voice of Metal Gear Solid’s Solid Snake but also a Hollywood screenwriter and director, also tweeted that he was among those trapped and barricaded in Netflix’s offices during the lockdown.
“We received a tip about a potential law enforcement incident at our LA office. Police are conducting a sweep of the lot out of an abundance of caution. There is no immediate danger or threat to our employees,” reads a statement Netflix provided to The Verge and other publications.
CBS Los Angeles wrote that the person was reportedly on top of the building, holding a gun, and was later arrested at his home without ever firing a shot. Now, we know how that’s possible.
Update, 8:31 PM ET: Added LAPD info that this alleged gunman never existed.
Update, 8:45 PM ET: Added Forbes’ report that the suspect is a former Netflix employee.
Update, 8:59 PM ET: Added Netflix confirmation that there was no gunman.