In the span of a few hours, Gene Atkins had shot his grandmother, kidnapped his girlfriend and then led police on a wild chase from Hollywood to Silver Lake while shooting at officers from his car, authorities said.
Now, the armed 28-year-old was running through a crowded Trader Joe’s parking lot toward a store filled with dozens of shoppers and employees.
The officers chasing him had a decision to make: Shoot back and risk the lives of anyone in the line of fire, or allow Atkins to enter the store and potentially endanger dozens more.
In the gun battle that followed, the store’s manager was killed as she stepped into the parking lot.
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