LOS ANGELES — A 27-year-old woman killed in a shootout at a Silver Lake Trader Joe’s Saturday was struck by LAPD gunfire, Chief Michel Moore announced Tuesday.
Assistant Manager Melyda Corado was exiting the Trader Joe’s as a man who had led police on a chase from Hollywood to the store along Hyperion Avenue was exiting a stolen vehicle he was in and was shooting at police while trying to get inside, KTLA reported.
As suspect Gene Atkins was firing rounds at police and officers were returning fire, Atkins and Corado were struck, Moore said.
Corado was shot one time in the arm by one of two officers who were firing at Atkins. Moore described the bullet as going through Corado’s body, and she eventually died at the scene.
The chief expressed condolences to the victim’s family during the news conference and released dashcam video of the shooting. He said his officers fired a total of eight rounds during the incident.
Atkins then barricaded himself inside the store with people still inside and the incident turned into an hours-long hostage situation. Store employees and customers were slowly led out until Atkins eventually surrendered to police. He was taken to a hospital for treatment and is expected to be charged on various counts Tuesday.
He had apparently been involved in a dispute with his grandmother and a 17-year-old woman in South Los Angeles, when he allegedly shot both women.
He then allegedly fled the scene in his grandmother’s car with the younger victim when police caught up to him at Cahuenga and Sunset boulevards. At some point, Atkins allegedly started firing at police, breaking the back window of the stolen vehicle.
Police did not begin shooting at Atkins until he crashed into a light pole outside the Trader Joe’s. Corado was trying to get out when Atkins was entering the store. After being shot, Corado went back inside the store and collapsed.
Corado’s family has started a GoFundMe page in her memory.
Hayward is the grandmother of 28-year-old suspect, Gene Avin Atkins.
After the fatal shooting, Atkins holed up in the store and kept those inside hostage. A three-hour standoff ensued, including hours of negotiations, before Atkins surrendered to police.
Atkins now faces 30 charges, including one count of murder; six counts of attempted murder (including four counts of attempted murder against a police officer); 13 counts of false imprisonment of hostages; and one count of felony evading.
Both his grandmother and the wounded teen are in critical condition from their gunshot wounds, Moore said.
Atkins is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday. Bail is set at $9 million.