Armed Standoff at Los Angeles Trader Joe's Ends With 1 Dead, Suspect Arrested
An armed standoff in a Trader Joe's in Los Angeles, complicated by a tense hostage situation, eventually ended with authorities taking a suspect into custody. Los Angeles police immediately took the suspect as he turned himself in, but not before killing one victim and holding others hostage for a few hours.
The suspect, later identified by Los Angeles authorities as Gene Evin Atkins, is now being held on one count of murder on top of other possible charges. One woman inside the store on Saturday, July 21, later died from a gunshot wound, according to ABC News.
Officials later released the identity of the slain victim as Melyda Eldorado, a store employee in the Trader Joe's in Los Angeles' Silver Lake neighborhood. She was one of the around 40 people inside the grocery store present when the suspect took over the establishment, according to CNN.
Atkins, 28, was armed and was fleeing the police at the time, after a shooting incident that involved two women, according to police Officer Mike Lopez told CNN. The older of the two women, it turned out, was the suspect's grandmother, and Atkins himself was driving her car at the time.
The suspect had crashed a car near the store while trying to shake off pursuing police with sporadic gunfire, according to authorities. He then got off his vehicle and ran inside the Trader Joe's, prompting customers to run out.
The suspect was finally talked by hostage negotiators into surrendering. At that point, Atkins handcuffed himself on his own and gave himself up, police said.
Six other victims were also taken to the hospital, including a 20-year-old woman who had to be taken out of her vehicle. Atkin's bail was set at $2 million.