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Netflix's Hollywood offices locked down amid search for fake gunman

Netflix employees told to shelter in place during search.

An LAPD vehicle blocks off a street near Netflix's offices in Hollywood on Thursday.

Jake Gould via Twitter

Netflix's offices in Hollywood were briefly locked down Thursday afternoon as police searched for a person reported to be carrying a deadly weapon in a nearby parking lot.

The report to police turned out to be false, but photos posted to social media showed several Los Angeles Police Department vehicles swarmed outside the Sunset Bronson Studios, which houses offices for Netflix and KTLA TV Channel 5. Employees were told to shelter in place as a precautionary measure after reports of a gunman near the studio came in at 3:53 p.m.

Officers quickly detained a suspect, LAPD Officer Tony Im said, adding in a later statement that the man arrested wasn't in possession of a weapon. That man was still in custody Thursday evening and being questioned for making a false police report, Im said.

The suspect was described as a former Netflix employee by the Los Angeles Times, but the LAPD couldn't confirm his employment status. A Netflix spokeswoman declined to comment on that report.

Netflix previously said there was no immediate threat or danger posed to its employees.

"We received a tip about a potential law enforcement incident at our LA office," the Netflix spokeswoman said in a statement. "Police are conducting a sweep of the lot out of an abundance of caution." In a followup statement, she said, "There was never an individual with a firearm on the property."

Concern over employee safety at high-profile tech companies has risen in the wake of an active shooter last April targeting employees at YouTube's headquarters in San Bruno, California. The shooter wounded three workers before taking her own life.

Facebook revealed earlier Thursday that it keeps a list of people, including users and ex-employees, who have made threats against the social media company and its employees. The company uses data from those people's Facebook accounts and sometimes tracks their location through the app when threats appear credible, CNBC reported.

The Sunset Bronson Studios, located at 5800 West Sunset Blvd., houses movie, TV and radio production studios.

First published Feb. 14, 5 p.m. PT
Update, 6 p.m.: Adds information that no gunman was found.