A scare at the Los Angeles Times building resulted in a lockdown and search of the entire premises. Suspect, Matthew Lowes, was detained by police and taken without incident from the second floor of the building. The second floor of the Times building has space rented by VXI Global Solutions, which Lowes works for. Lowes had a discussion with his supervisor earlier in the day which made him angry. He left the building and then returned later in the day to talk to the supervisor again.
He told the supervisor that he felt depressed. He also said that he was not afraid to shoot people, but did not want to go to jail. It is being reported that he had a bag of ammunition with him and handed it to the supervisor. The police did not find a weapon on him during arrest and did not find a weapon when the building was searched. During a later search of Lowes’ locker, a box of ammunition was found.
Photos released of Lowes being arrested show that he is a white male, with long curly hair, and clean-shaven. In the photos, he is wearing all black clothing. Lowes is 28 years old. No other information on the suspect has been released.
The police were alerted by a text message which was sent by an unknown person that was inside the building. The message claimed that there was a man in the building and that he had a gun. The police are not yet saying if the text message came from Lowes or from another person inside the building. Police were on the scene around 7:30 p.m. and had Lowes in custody by 8:20. No one was harmed during the incident or search of the building.
The scare at the Los Angeles Times building prompted Lowes being sent for a mental health evaluation. The question of whether he was ready to shoot someone or if he was just making a threat is still unanswered. The incident may have been his way of calling out for help, or an indication of a deeper concern.
Co-workers claim that Lowes had just been fired from his job when he made the shooting threats. Before making the threats, it is reported that he told his supervisor that he felt bullied at work. The mental health division of the police are not releasing any information on the findings from the evaluation.
It is still unknown if Lowes made empty threats or if he had plans to shoot someone inside the Los Angeles Times building. With no weapon found, it would seem that the people inside the building were not in any danger. However, that person who sent the text message to the police probably did the right thing and could have saved lives if the shooting were to have occurred. While scared workers are being asked to return to the Los Angeles Times building amid an uncertain and uneasy air, Lowes is receiving treatment for the mental health issues which precipitated the incident.
by Raul Hernandez