Updated on Monday August 20, 2018
Here’s a recap and the latest information about Saturday’s gunbattle and standoff between police and a gunman at the Trader Joe’s on Hyperion Avenue. One employee was killed and as many as 40 people were trapped or held hostage in the store for about three hours. The company called it “the saddest day in Trader Joe’s history.”
- Trader Joe’s: The arraignment of suspect Gene Evin Atkins has been postponed until Sept. 19 after prosecutors added more charges and had the bail increased in the case. Atkins now faces 20 additional criminal counts — bringing the total to 51 criminal — and his bail was increased to $23 million from $18.7 million. His arraignment has been postponed until Sept. 19. L.A. Times
A suspect who shot his grandmother and another woman in South L.A. earlier in the day was being chased by police when his car crashed into a post in front of the Trader Joe’s at 2738 Hyperion Avenue at about 3:30 pm on Saturday, July 21. He emerged from the car and went into the store as he and officers exchanged fire, police said. The suspect was taken into custody at about 6:30 pm. A handgun was recovered at the scene. A store manager was killed after being struck by a police officer’s bullet during a gunbattle with the suspect. “This has been a devastating ordeal,” Chief Michel Moore said.
A police dashcam video shows officers Sinlen Tse and Sarah Winans of the LAPD Hollywood Division pursuing the suspect’s vehicle on Glendale Boulevard and Rowena Avenue before the car turns south on Hyperion Avenue, where it crashes into a post in front of Trader Joe’s. The gunman then runs into the store as the sounds of gunfire are heard. The officers emerge from the vehicle and crouch behind a cinder block wall across the parking lot from the store’s entrance as more gunshots are heard.
Gene Evin Atkins, a 28-year-old African-American male, faces 30 criminal charges, including murder, attempted murder and false imprisonment. He was wounded in the left arm during the gunbattle with officers. Atkins emerged from the store at about 6:30 pm after he had handcuffed himself with handcuffs he had requested from police, the LAPD said. Relatives told NBC4 and the L.A. Times that Atkins had been living with his grandmother, Mary Madison, and had been arguing with her about his girlfriend being at the house.
Atkins faces 51 criminal charges — a number that has been growing. The charges include one count each of murder; kidnapping; grand theft of an automobile; and assault with a firearm. He faces a life sentence if convicted of the charges. Bail has been raised to $23 million. His arraignment has been postponed until Sept. 19.
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) July 22, 2018
Melyda “Mely” Corado was a manager at the store. Three days after the shooting police said that Corado had been killed by a single bullet fired from an officer’s handgun during the gunbattle. She was hit as she and others were heading out the market’s entrance while Atkins was running inside, police said. After being shot, Corado went back into the store and collapsed behind the manager’s station. Persons in the store took her out of the market and then police moved her further away. She died at the scene.
Corado, 27, had worked at the Toluca Lake Trader Joe’s for four years before moving to the Silver Lake market, reports NBC4. “She was always in a good mood, always smiling,” one worker told The L.A. Times. “It’s devastating that I’ll never see her again.”
An online fundraiser to assist with funeral expenses has been setup.
My sister works at the #traderjoes in #silverlake I can’t get a hold of her and I’m not sure if she was able to get out or is one of the hostages. If anyone with any information could help me out it would be much appreciated. I feel helpless and I’m scared for my sister
— Albert Corado (@digitalurn) July 22, 2018
I’m sad to say she didn’t make it. My baby sister. My world. I appreciate the retweets and the love. Please respect my family’s privacy as we are still coming to terms with this. #TraderJoes #SilverLake
— Albert Corado (@digitalurn) July 22, 2018
— Alexandra Gallarza 🐘 (@amgallarza) July 22, 2018
Family and friends spoke at a Sunday morning funeral service for Melyda “Mely” Corado at the Hollywood Hills Forest Lawn Cemetery on July 29, reports. “When your mother dies, you become an orphan,” said her father, Albert Corado. “When your wife dies, you become a widower. When your daughter dies, there are no words.” ABC7 & FoxLA
Remarks begin at the 35:53-minute mark on a video posted on Facebook by ABC7.
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. A 22-year-old woman, who was injured due to glass fragments, transported herself to a local hospital for treatment, police said on Sunday.
Mary Madison, the suspect’s grandmother, was expected to survive after being shot several times by her grandson, police told the L.A. Times.
No officers were injured.
Many workers and customers rushed out the doors and exits in a chaotic scene in which some may have been injured. Others emerged from second-floor windows and climbed down ladders that had been propped up along walls by police. An estimated 40 to 50 remained in the store, some were being held hostage by the gunman while others took shelter in the restrooms and other portions of the store. One worker trapped in the store told CBS2 that the gunman threatened to kill them if he could not talk to his grandmother. A 91-year-old customer walking into the market told NBC4 police bullets flew past him as the suspect ran down the main aisle of the market.
Trader Joe’s store #17 reopened on Thursday, Aug. 2 nearly two weeks after the shooting, according to The Eastsider
“While we remain heartbroken over the tragic death of Melyda Corado and the trauma our Crew Members and customers have suffered, we recognize that moving forward is an important part of supporting the healing of this community,” the company said in a statement. “While we move forward, we will never forget.”
Anyone who has any information regarding this incident is asked to call the LAPD at (213) 486-6850.
Meetings & Vigils
A public memorial service for Trader Joe’s manager Melyda “Mely” Corado will be held on Sunday, July 29 at the Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills cemetery, reports ABC7.
To Shoot or Not to Shoot: The decision by the LAPD to engage in a gun battle with many bystanders present has met with a met a mixed reaction, with some praising the officers and others taking them to task. L.A. Times
At the Gelson’s: A video of the scene inside the Gelson’s market as customers and employees react to the gunbattle across the street at the Trader Joe’s. YouTube
Transparency: The L.A. Times editorial board praised Chief Moore’s response to the shooting that took place less than a month after he became head of the department.
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