The ritzy Luxe Hotel on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, decked in Christmas finery and filled with high-end customers, became the backdrop to a bloody drama this afternoon as a Beverly Hills Police Department officer opened fire in its lobby, shooting an apparent robbery suspect who had allegedly hit the Bank of America up the street.
Witnesses say the man shot by police was alert and talking after the shooting. Police say he was taken to the hospital, where his condition is unknown. No word on how much, if any, cash was stolen when the suspect allegedly demanded money at the bank in the 400 block of Rodeo Drive, the heart of one of the world's most expensive shopping districts.
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The dual crime scene was expected to all but shut down the main drag of the prime shopping district at the height of Beverly Hills' holiday shopping season, and major traffic tie-ups were expected. Authorities urged motorists to steer well clear of the area and some predicted severe gridlock.
Beverly Hills police Lt. Renato Moreno says the suspect was shot by police about 4:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Luxe Hotel, and was eventually loaded into an ambulance. No officers were injured.