Silver Lake — An attorney for the family of Melyda Corado, the Trader Joe’s manager killed during a gunbattle between police and a suspect, claimed today that officers did not follow department policy when they began shooting outside the store.
In a press conference in a Downtown hotel, attorney John Taylor and Corado’s father, Albert, said they had been kept in the dark about the circumstances surrounding the July 21 shootout. Corado, an innocent bystander, was struck and killed by an officer’s bullet during the gunbattle.
They repeated requests that LAPD provide all unedited department dashcam, bodycam and store surveillance video.
“We have many questions about how Mely died, but we don’t have any answers,” said Albert Corado. “We are here to ask the Los Angeles Police Department to [turn over] evidence so we can move on with our lives.”
Taylor said that the brief pieces of police video that have been released appear to show the incident was an “out of policy shooting.”
“The officers in the pursuit car had no tactical plan, got out of their vehicle, already having made up their minds to fire their weapons without assessing the background …. and shot in the direction of Trader Joe’s,” Taylor said. He noted that several other bystanders were standing outside the store and inside vehicles as officers shot across the parking lot in the direction of the store entrance.
Taylor and another attorney present deflected questions about whether the family was preparing to file a lawsuit over the shooting.
An LAPD spokesman said the department would not have any comment. Police chief Michel Moore has apologized over the shooting as the department conducts an internal investigation.
The department released additional video this morning. But Taylor dismissed the video a public relations effort to to “shine a favorable light” on the officers.
Mely Corado Was An Innocent Bystander
Officers had been pursuing Gene Evin Atkins, who allegedly shot his grandmother and another woman earlier in the day, when his car crashed into a post in front of the Trader Joe’s on Hyperion Avenue.
Officers and Atkins exchanged gunfire as he emerged from the car and went into the store. It was during this time that Corado was shot, went back into the store and collapsed near the manager’s station, according to police.
Numerous shoppers and workers were trapped or held hostage in the store for several hours after Atkins surrendered to police.
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