Man Shot Grandmother, Pursuit/Crash, Trader Joe’s Manager Killed in the Crossfire
Photo: shooting scene (Damian Dovarganes/AP)
LOS ANGELES – A radio call sent LAPD Newton Division patrol officers to scene of a critically-shot grandmother (78) and another female (17) injured on the 2600 block of 32nd Street.
The suspect, later identified as Gene Atkins, DOB: 1/12/90, was embroiled in a violent family dispute at about 1:30 PM Saturday. According to relatives, it stemmed from the grandmother’s refusal to allow the suspect’s girlfriend in the house.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore later announced that the grandmother suffered seven gunshot wounds, in critical condition.
Atkins took his injured girlfriend and fled in his grandmother’s LoJack-equipped 2015 Camry. A hot pursuit ensued.
Hollywood Division Officers captured multiple rounds fired at officers on video. This occurred as the getaway car wove in and out of traffic.
LAPD announced, “The suspect eventually crashed the vehicle and an officer-involved shooting occurred; the suspect sustained a single gunshot wound to his left arm. The suspect ran into the Silver Lake Trader Joe’s, located at 2738 Hyperion Avenue, and proceeded to hold hostage over 40 employees and customers for several hours.”[See the Image at 2:02 of the suspect running from the crashed car at TJ’s front door.]
Store manager Melyda Corado (22) suffered a deadly wound in the crossfire at the start of the barricade. Autopsy and ballistics tests determined that officers’ returned gunfire was the cause.
Shocked customers cowered in their cars in the parking lot during the gun battle.
Eighteen ambulances, firefighters and a massive police presence arrived in preparation for the mayhem as some adults and children climbed out of the windows.
Eventually, LAPD reported, “The suspect requested the officers provide him handcuffs; the suspect handcuffed himself and eventually surrendered. The LAFD was additionally on scene with multiple personnel and multiple rescue ambulances; they evaluated a total of 10 people and transported six to local hospitals. None of the individuals transported had any life-threatening injuries or conditions.”
A second female victim (22), transported herself to a local hospital for injuries due to glass fragments. The girlfriend suffered a graze wound to her head and is expected to survive. Authorities recovered a handgun inside the Trader Joe’s.
Newly appointed LAPD Chief Moore placed flowers at the memorial site for Melyda Corado.
On Monday, at the Trader Joe’s, three employees quietly discussed the memorial arrangements for their now-deceased departed manager. They stocked shelves as their eyes occasionally darted toward the after-dark entrance. A security guard stood outside the door.
LA County DA Prosecutors charged Atkins with 31 counts, including kidnapping, attempted murder, attempted murder of police officers, and false imprisonment. Murder is charged for the “provocative act theory,” by which a defendant can be held responsible for the consequences of his own illegal conduct.
Atkins has a bail of $2 million.
Chief Moore tweeted a tribute, “The destructive and tragic consequences one person can inflict are at the forefront of our minds tonight, as is the valor & dedication of our men & women who strived to protect so many innocent people-Our thoughts, prayers & hearts are with all affected by this senseless incident.”