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Suspect ID'd in Deadly Trader Joe's Shootout

The incident left the store manager dead
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2018 5:00 PM CDT
Los Angeles Police SWAT officers escort a group of people across businesses surrounding Trader Joe's.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Newser) – A 28-year-old man has been named by authorities in Los Angeles as the gunman in a shootout and kidnapping that ended with an hours-long grocery store stand-off and the death of an employee. Per the LA Times, the LAPD named Gene Atkins as the suspect. Officer Drake Madison told the paper Atkins is being held in lieu of $2 million bail on suspicion of murder. Authorities say Atkins shot his grandmother multiple times and took another woman hostage before driving away in what became a police pursuit and shootout when police located his vehicle hours later. After he's accused of exchanging fire with police, Atkins allegedly drove away before crashing into a pole in front of a Trader Joe's in the Silver Lake neighborhood.

Witnesses reportedly said the suspect exchanged fire with police as he ran into the store. Per the AP, a woman was shot and killed when Atkins was entering the store and it remained unclear Sunday evening whether she was hit by police fire or shot by Atkins. The victim has been identified as 27-year-old Melyda Corado. "I'm sad to say she didn't make it. My baby sister. My world," Corado's brother, Albert Corado, has since tweeted.
None of the hostages were seriously hurt before cops say Atkins handcuffed himself and surrendered after a 3-hour standoff. A statement from Trader Joe's said the location will be closed for the foreseeable future in order give employees time to personally come to terms with the tragedy. (Read more Trader Joe's stories.)

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