LAPD identify 28-year-old man as suspect in Trader Joe's hostage situation staff KABC logo
Sunday, July 22, 2018
Silver Lake Trader Joe's remains closed following deadly situation
A Trader Joe's in Silver Lake remained closed Sunday as detectives scoured the area following a deadly hourslong barricade situation that unfolded the day before.

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

He was identified as 28-year-old Gene Evin Atkins, who was booked on suspicion of murder. His bail was set at $2 million.

Investigators continued combing the area 12 hours after an armed chase suspect ran into the market and held several people hostage for about three hours, starting around 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

The store manager, identified by family members as Melyda Corado, was shot and killed during the incident, possibly in the crossfire between LAPD officers and the suspect.

Melyda Corado, the Trader Joe's store manager killed in Silver Lake who was identified by family members, is shown in an undated photo.

Around 1:30 p.m. in South Los Angeles, authorities said the suspect was involved in a family dispute, eventually shooting his 78-year-old grandmother seven times before fleeing the scene with a woman he'd also shot.

The suspect took the woman, who may be his girlfriend, into a vehicle and drove off. Authorities tried to stop him in Hollywood, but he led them on a chase. At one point, he opened fire on officers from the vehicle, shattering his back window.

During that shooting, the suspect crashed into a pole near the Trader Joe's. He was shot in the arm and then ran inside the supermarket as authorities returned fire, shooting out the glass doors of the business.

Employees and customers inside the store dove for cover as the bullets flew. Police believe Corado was shot inside the store, possibly during this shootout. Authorities tried to render aid, but she died at the scene.

As the standoff continued, the suspect held people hostage and made demands with crisis negotiators. But around 6:30 p.m., the suspect surrendered and walked out with the hostages. He asked if he could place the cuffs on himself, authorities said.

Trader Joe's provided an updated statement to the incident, stating the store would be closed until further notice.

"Yesterday marks the saddest day in Trader Joe's history as we mourn the loss of one of our own. Our thoughts are with her family, and our Crew Members and customers who experienced this terrifying and unimaginable ordeal.

Our Silverlake (sic) store will remain closed until further notice to give our Crew Members time to process yesterday's events. We will continue to do whatever we can to support them, including providing grief counselors to help them cope with the situation."

Authorities said the suspect's grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Madison, was in stable condition at the hospital and the other woman he shot only suffered a graze wound to her head. She is expected to survive.