Suspected gunman in deadly LA Trader Joe’s standoff identified

The suspected gunman who burst into a Trader Joe’s in Los Angeles on Saturday, took hostages and got into a shootout with police that left a woman dead was identified Sunday.

Police said Gene Evin Atkins, 28, was the man who held officers at bay for three hours on Saturday and engaged in a gunbattle in which the store manager was killed when she was caught in the crossfire.

Unidentified Trader Joes supermarket employees hug after being evacuated by Los Angeles Police after a gunman barricaded himself inside the store in Los Angeles Saturday, July 21, 2018.AP
Unidentified Trader Joe’s supermarket employees hug after being evacuated by Los Angeles Police after a gunman barricaded himself inside the store in Los Angeles Saturday, July 21, 2018.

Atkins was booked in the Los Angeles County jail on suspicion of murder. He could be arraigned as early as Monday and will likely face additional charges, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department told ABC News.

He was being held on $2 million bail.

The slain manager of the Trader Joe’s, located in the Silver Lake section of Los Angeles, was identified by her brother as Melyda Corado.

“I’m sad to say she didn’t make it. My baby sister. My world,” Corado’s brother, Albert Corado, wrote on Twitter late Saturday.

Albert Corado tweeted again on Sunday, saying he “missed his sister” and that their father was “doing his best to keep it together.”

The Silver Lake store remained closed Sunday to give Corado’s co-workers time to process the tragedy, the company said in a statement.

Los Angeles officials escort a woman being evacuated by emergency personnel after a gunman held hostages inside a Trader Joes store in Los Angeles Saturday, July 21, 2018.AP
Los Angeles officials escort a woman being evacuated by emergency personnel after a gunman held hostages inside a Trader Joe’s store in Los Angeles Saturday, July 21, 2018.

“Yesterday marks the saddest day in Trader Joe’s history as we mourn the loss of one of our own,” the company’s statement reads.

The episode began around 1:30 p.m. on Saturday when Atkins got into an argument at a South Los Angeles residence with his grandmother and allegedly shot her seven times, police said.

The grandmother, whom relatives identified for ABC News as Mary Elizabeth Madison, was at a hospital in stable condition on Sunday.

After allegedly shooting Madison, Atkins shot and wounded a young woman, whose name was not released, at the South Los Angeles residence, forced her into his grandmother’s car and drove off.

The car was equipped with LoJack tracking technology, which police used to locate the suspect, officials said. When police tried to stop the car a chase ensued, officials said.

An unidentified woman sits next to witnesses on a sidewalk after a gunman barricaded himself inside a Trader Joes in Los Angeles Saturday, July 21, 2018. Police believe a man involved in a standoff at the supermarket shot his grandmother and girlfriend.AP
An unidentified woman sits next to witnesses on a sidewalk after a gunman barricaded himself inside a Trader Joe’s in Los Angeles Saturday, July 21, 2018. Police believe a man involved in a standoff at the supermarket shot his grandmother and girlfriend.

During the high-speed pursuit, Atkins allegedly fired at officers, shattering the rear window of the car he was driving, police said.

He eventually crashed in front of the Trader Joe’s and ran inside.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore told the Los Angeles Times that Corado was killed as she was exiting the store during the shootout. It is unclear if the fatal shot was fired by the gunman or a police officer, he said.

Police said Atkins was shot in the arm during the firefight.

In this photo provided by Christian Dunlop, police officers stand guard near a crashed vehicle outside a Trader Joes store in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles on Saturday, July 21, 2018.AP
In this photo provided by Christian Dunlop, police officers stand guard near a crashed vehicle outside a Trader Joe’s store in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles on Saturday, July 21, 2018.

Once inside the store, Atkins allegedly took shoppers and store employees hostage, police said.

Following a three-hour standoff, Atkins exited the store and surrendered to police.

At least six people, ranging from age 12 to 81, who were held hostage were treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.



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