Suspect in violent Trader Joe’s standoff due in court

A man who allegedly barricaded himself inside a Trader Joe’s, killing a store manager and holding dozens of people hostage for three hours, is set to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom Monday.

Gene Evin Atkins, 28, was arrested and charged with murder after the violent Saturday night standoff in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles.

Atkins was first suspected of shooting his grandmother several times and another woman on Saturday before fleeing with that second woman and leading police on a chase, authorities said.

AP
An unidentified woman sits next to witnesses on a sidewalk after a gunman barricaded himself inside a Trader Joe’s in Los Angeles, July 21, 2018.

Police said they were able to locate the suspect via LoJack technology.

During the pursuit, police said the suspect opened fire on them, blasting multiple rounds at the trailing officers.

The gunman crashed outside the Trader Joe’s and exchanged gunfire with cops, suffering a wound to his arm, officials said.

Atkins then allegedly barricaded himself inside the grocery store where he allegedly shot and killed employee Melyda Corado, authorities said.

“I miss my sister,” Corado’s brother, Albert Corado, wrote on Twitter. “Melyda Corado you were immensely loved.”

Five others at the store suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Atkins’ grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Madison, was listed in stable condition on Sunday.

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

“Yesterday marks the saddest day in Trader Joe’s history as we mourn the loss of one of our own,” the grocery store chain said in a statement Sunday. “Our thoughts are with her family, and our Crew Members and customers who experienced this terrifying and unimaginable ordeal.”

“Our Silverlake store will remain closed until further notice to give our Crew Members time to process yesterday’s events,” the statement continued. “We will continue to do whatever we can to support them, including providing grief counselors to help them cope with the situation.”

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