LAPD Identifies Suspect In Silver Lake Trader Joe’s Standoff

Los Angeles police identified a gunman Sunday suspected of holding hostages inside a Trader Joe's that resulted in the death of a woman.

Authorities later caught up to him in Hollywood - using stolen vehicle technology - and exchanged gunfire with him during a auto chase. He lives in the neighbourhood and was walking into the supermarket when he saw "two police cars coming like a bat out of cave" and the suspect crashed into the pole. Her grandson, 28-year-old Gene Evin Atkins, allegedly shot her before barricading himself inside a Trader Joe's, killing a store manager.

The chase ended outside the Trader Joe's in Silver Lake after the man crashed the vehicle into a light post; after exchanging fire with police, the man fled into the store and a three-hour hostage negotiation ensued as around 45 people were inside at the time.

Melyda Corado was shot and killed by alleged shooter Gene Evin Atkins, who has been arrested.

"I'm sad to say she didn't make it, " he wrote. Her brother, Albert Corado, said on Twitter that she worked at Trader Joe's. I appreciate the retweets and the love. Fire officials described her as a 20-year-old woman.

According to the Sun report, a woman identified as a cousin of Atkins, 28-year-old Charlene Egland, said that she did not know what set off the family dispute that led to Atkins' rampage.

"The bullets were flying everywhere - through the front of the store and across the parking lot", Kohles told the Los Angeles Times.

Police say a gunman who took hostages inside a Los Angeles supermarket has been booked on suspicion of murder.

Eldorado was a store manager, CNN affiliate KABC reported. "That's why I can't even believe what he did to her". Now, as people remember the young woman - known to many as Mely - strangers and friends alike are getting together to raise money for funeral costs. "I was thinking about her the whole time, and it's just incomprehensible", tweeted Felicia Wilson.

Some witnesses took to social media.

"I miss my sister".

Three other people were evaluated, but declined to be taken to hospitals.

The girlfriend was grazed in the head, police said.

It is unclear what led to the initial violence that produced the auto chase and standoff.

Mary Elizabeth Madison was listed in stable condition on Sunday.

As he heard gunfire, Sean Gerace, who was working in the back of the supermarket, grabbed several co-workers and the group made their way into an upstairs storage area.

"I grabbed an emergency ladder, barricaded the hallway, grabbed a weapon, put the ladder out the window and just tried to get the attention of the SWAT officer", Gerace told the television station. They say they chased the vehicle and exchanged gunfire with the man, who crashed into a pole outside the supermarket and then ran inside.

Once inside, Atkins forced one of the shoppers to round up everyone else hiding in the store, Ackerman said. But around 6:30 p.m., the suspect surrendered and walked out with the hostages. He proceeded to run inside the grocery store, where employees and customers barricaded themselves and hid, according to the Chicago Tribune.

He had just crashed his vehicle outside the store after leading Los Angeles police officers on a chase through city streets.

Trader Joe's employee Zach Johnston was among those who escaped shortly after hearing gunshots.

"He said he would start killing us if he didn't get to talk to his granny", Lynne Westafer, a Trader Joe's employee told KCAL.

This story originally published at 10:38 a.m.

  • Rogelio Becker