Suspect ID’d in Silver Lake Trader Joe’s Standoff That Left Woman Dead, Others Injured

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A 28-year-old man was booked on suspicion of murder after an hourslong standoff with authorities at a Silver Lake Trader Joe's that left a woman dead as dozens of people remained barricaded inside the store, Los Angeles police said Sunday.

Gene Evin Atkins remained in police custody at a local hospital the day after the shootout, Officer Drake Madison told KTLA. He was being held on $2 million bail.

More than 40 customers and employees were held hostage during the standoff that lasted just over three hours, LAPD said. A gun was later recovered from inside the store.

Atkins was allegedly armed when he hit a light post outside Trader Joe's and entered the store  just after 3 p.m. on Saturday, according to officials. That happened after a pursuit that began about an hour and half before in South L.A., where he shot his grandmother and another woman, police said.

He had fled in his grandmother's vehicle with the other woman, police said, kidnapping her as he led police on a chase that ended in a crash just outside the Silver Lake supermarket.

Authorities surrounded the store that had some 40 to 50 people inside. Gunfire ensued and the suspect was struck once in the left arm, police said. No officers were injured.

After that, the suspect then entered the store, taking dozens hostage in a standoff lasting hours, police said. He negotiated with authorities until he requested that officers provide him handcuffs.

From inside the store, he handcuffed himself and then surrendered, according to police. Officers were seen escorting him out of the store around 6:30 p.m.

Los Angeles police later confirmed a female employee was fatally struck in the shootout and was pronounced dead at the scene.

It remained unclear who fired the bullet or bullets that killed the woman. In a news release, LAPD officials said investigators "are working diligently to understand how that employee was struck by gunfire."

"We hope to know more following an autopsy and ballistics tests," officials said.

According to a detective at the scene, a suspect can face murder charges if somebody dies during an alleged crime.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore said the victim was apparently wounded while exiting the store, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Family identified the victim as Melyda Corado. She was the location's store manager, a law enforcement source said, according to the L.A. Times.

Albert Corado said his sister had worked at Trader Joe's for four to five years, CNN reported.

"She was the person I loved the most in the world. She was never anyone but herself for better or worse, she was herself," he said, according to CNN.

A growing memorial in tribute to the young woman who lost her life could be seen outside the grocery store Sunday evening.

Atkins' grandmother sustained seven gunshot wounds and underwent multiple surgeries, according to police. Her family later told KTLA she was expected to live and in stable condition.

In an interview on Sunday, Charleo Egland said the 78-year-old woman had raised Atkins and they were arguing over his girlfriend being at their South L.A. home.

The grandmother took care of Atkins despite violent fights between the two and prior run-ins with authorities, Egland told the Los Angeles Times.

Another woman, allegedly kidnapped by the suspect in his grandmother's Camry, was in stable condition after suffering a grazing gunshot wound to the head, officials said.

LAPD later said a 22-year-old woman was injured by broken glass at the scene of the shootout.

In addition to the suspect,  five other people ages 12 to 81 were hospitalized, L.A. fire officials said. They were last listed in fair condition and police later said none of their injuries were life-threatening.

The store was shut down Sunday as LAPD continued to investigate the incident.

"This location is closed until further notice," Trader Joe's website said. "We appreciate all of your understanding and support."

Anyone with information about the incident can contact LAPD at 213-486-6850.

KTLA's Marissa Wenzke contributed to this story.

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