Woman killed during Silver Lake Trader Joe’s standoff; gunman taken into custody [updated]

Photo by Gregory Feiner

Silver Lake —  One woman was killed inside the Trader Joe’s after a gunman barricaded himself inside the store for more than three hours today following a police chase and gun battle outside the Hyperion Avenue market,  police said.

About 40 to 50 of people remained in the market, with some locking themselves in the restrooms during the standoff, according to TV reports. Some persons scrambled out of high windows and climbed down ladders put in place by authorities.

Today’s incident began at about 1:30 pm when a man in his teens allegedly shot his grandmother seven times and another woman in the 1600 block of 32nd Street, according to LAPD spokespersons. The grandmother underwent surgery and was said to be in grave condition.

The man then fled the scene in his grandmother’s car —  a 4-door Toyota Camry, with the other wounded woman.

After the shooting in South L.A. the suspect’s vehicle, equipped with a stolen vehicle notification system, was later spotted by LAPD Hollywood Division officers, who began to chase the car.

The suspect fired at the pursuing officers several times during the chase, which ended when the suspect’s crashed into a pole in front of the Trader Joe’s, he said.

The suspect, a 28-year-old black male, went into the market after he and officers exchanged gunfire a second time outside the store.  The armed suspect initially let some persons leave the store but he kept numerous employees and customers hostage during the standoff as he spoke with LAPD negotiators.

The barricade ended when the man was seen being handcuffed by police outside the market and was then escorted into an ambulance, according to aerial images seen on CBS2. He sustained a wound to his left arm.

The woman who died was shot early during the incident inside the Trader Joe’s. A police official who did not want to be identified told The Eastsider that the victim was a store employee. Officers pulled the woman from inside the store and tried to revive her but she died from her injuries, police said in an early evening briefing.

One Eastsider reader said her boyfriend was about to drive into the Trader Joe’s parking lot when when he was diverted by police into the Gelson’s parking lot across the street.

“No one is allowed to leave right now,” she said. “Very scary.”

Another Eastsider reader on Facebook said the police chase went right past her at Hyperion and Rowena. “I heard the shots fired!”

Update @ 11:27 PM: ABC7 identified the victim as Melyda Corado, a Trader Joe’s employee.  Police said Hyperion Avenue is expected to remain closed until noon on Sunday.

Update @ 8:04 PM: In addition to the women who was killed, several others were injured, the L.A. Fire Department said.  Six persons — ranging in age from 12 to 81 – were transported to hospitals in fair condition with non-life threatening injuries. Three additional patients were evaluated and declined being take to hospitals.

Update @  7 PM: Mayor Eric Garcetti said a woman inside the store died from her wounds. A police official told The Eastsider that the victim was a store employee.

Update @ 6:43 PM:  The suspect has been taken into custody without incident, the LAPD said on Twitter. CBS2 had broadcast images of police handcuffing a man and escorting him into an ambulance

Update @ 6:34 PM:  CBS2 has broadcast images of police handcuffed a man and escorting him into an ambulance

Update @ 5:44 PM: A family reunification center has been set up at the LAPD Northeast Division station, 3353 N. San Fernando Road in Glassell Park.

Update @ 5:42 PM:  One injured woman was transported from the scene, the LAFD during a news conference. Authorities have told new media to remove their vehicles from the area.

Update @ 5:39 PM: The suspect might be wounded, reports The L.A. Times. He may not be holding hostages but there are people in the store.

Update @ 5:35 pm: President Trump has Tweeted about the Silver Lake standoff. “Watching Los Angeles possible hostage situation very closely. Active barricaded suspect. L.A.P.D. working with Federal Law Enforcement.”

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  1. Thanks, good to have synopsis without reporters on video/TV saying asinine things, asking ridiculous questions.

  2. The suspect handcuffed himself and exited the store, along with the hostages, seconds ago.

  3. Very sad that a woman who was an employee died. My condolences to her family and friends.

  4. I’m not interested in watching Garcetti on video, but I would like to see how our new Police Chief Michael Moore reacted. Anyone know if there is a video of him speaking? If so, please provide link? Thank you

  5. Pleas advise if there is a vigil tonight for this.

  6. Thanks, Eastsider, for the excellent reporting and important updates
    I’m out of town and not keeping up with the news. When this horrific headline came in on my cell I immediately went to your site knowing
    you would have the best and most updated information. So sad for everyone

  7. Everyone knows that it Could very well have been the cops. But no one is saying it…

    Why did the LAT update their article to state the suspect shot the TJ employee without  supporting it with facts or with eyewitness accounts?

    Their very own article states: (i underlined):

    Don Kohles was outside the store when he saw the end of the pursuit.
    Immediately, he heard two shots and ducked into the exit door. He looked back at the street and saw two police officers shooting at the man.
    “The bullets were flying everywhere through the front of the store and across the parking lot,” he said.
    The gunfire shattered the glass doors, he said, and the gunman ran into the store and “down the middle aisle.”

    So far this is the only logical explanation to why she was killed… by police bullets. Why would the suspect shoot her?

    What kind of journalism is it that doesn’t ask these kinds of tough questions, that covers for potential police excessive and reckless use of their weapons? 

    In my opinion Police should not be shooting at a suspect when there are innocent bystanders near by. EVEN if the suspect is shooting at them.  I wonder if this is policy. Maybe the journalists could bring that up. 

    LA EASTSIDER Please pursue the truth here, regardless of politics. If police killed her accidentally perhaps we need new rules in place or an independent investigation…

    Thank you
    Silver Lake resident

    • Absolutely!

      Why the hell do these cops pursue these ridiculous chases SO FAR PAST the point of reasonableness? They chased him from Hollywood to Silver Lake? That’s a bunch of adrenaline junkie cops playing war games with the lives of our citizens.

      1) The cops made things worse with the chase.

      Then, these trigger-happy cops started firing guns like crazy. AT A GROCERY STORE!!! Returning fire in such a public should be a LAST RESORT. LAPD’s demonstrated pattern is to shoot first and cover up the questions with their lies and falsified evidence.

      2) These cops recklessly engaged in a gun battle in an extremely busy place.

  8. Who Shot Mely Corado? was it the gunman? or Poilice that shooting at the gunman who was inside a crowded store? REST IN POWER MELY

  9. used to live there. god bless, full investigation and prayers.

  10. Playing devils advocate: The suspect had already shot his grandmother 7 times, shot his girlfriend, kidnapped her…so this is a armed person who’s already demonstrated that he can shoot his own grandmother and girlfriend–who was now being held hostage. Those who are claiming the Police should not have pursued him, after he’s been located with the hostage? And as he’s running into a store with maybe a 100 customers, he tried to drag his girlfriend/hostage with him—as he’s firing at the Cops….who’s to say he might of not of tried to shoot as many people as possible inside? Perhaps shooting/killing hostages one by one as he makes increasing demands?

    Point is the cops had to make a split second decision—neither decision—trying to shoot him to stop his crime spree right there….or let him go into the store unimpeded (cops knowing he’s already shot 2 people, shot at them, taking a hostage, etc), is a good choice, but the choice HAD to be made, either way.

    It’s easy to armchair extrapolate from the safety of your home….no bullets flying towards you. I’m just glad I wasn’t the cop having to make that choice :-/

    • Exactly. The suspect was armed and has ALREADY committed attempted murder AND he already had a hostage. The cops weren’t shooting at him over speeding tickets. No choice they had was a good choice. But guy they were dealing with had already demonstrated by his actions that he was mentally unstable, violent and armed. They didn’t have much choice.

  11. Also as policy, Police don’t terminate pursuits of suspects that are an immediate danger to the public, even if the said pursuit is also dangerous to the public. A call has to be made (usually by supervisors, etc.) and they have to weigh the dangers of the pursuit vs the immediate danger the individual(s) to persons/public.

    This suspect was pretty high up there in the ‘immediate’ danger to the public (it seems he initiated shooting in public on a busy street)—if not at least his girlfriend who he kidnapped.

  12. Fleaman, Thank you for your thoughtful and reasonable comments, with which I agree. No matter where the suspect stopped, or was stopped, by police…Hollywood, Silver Lake…it’s almost certain he would have engaged in further shooting, as he did while going from his car into the store.

    You can be pretty sure that those people who are always so ready to condemn police actions would have accused the police of not being aggressive enough if less action had been taken.

  13. Agree with Androg and Fleaman. As they say, it was a lose-lose situation. I don’t think any of us would have wanted to make that call.

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