The suspect who barricaded himself in a Trader Joe’s store in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, on Saturday after shooting his grandmother and waging a gun battle with police is in custody and has been identified, several news outlets have reported.
The shooter was identified as 28-year-old Gene Atkins, who is being held on suspicion of murder, the Los Angeles Times reported. According to reports, during a domestic dispute, Atkins shot his grandmother at least seven times and injured another woman, whom he took hostage in his grandmother’s car.
A dramatic police chase ensued, ending in a crash and then a standoff at Trader Joe’s in Silver Lake, where dozens of shoppers and store employees were caught in the middle. Store manager Melyda Corado was killed in the exchange of gunfire, her brother, Albert Corado, wrote on Twitter.
“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,” Corado wrote.
According to CNN, “Customers ran out of the store when the armed man burst in and police surrounded the building. During the three-hour standoff, several people walked out of the store with their hands up. Some employees climbed out a back window on a chain ladder.”
After intense negotiations with police, Atkins, who was injured in the shootout, handcuffed himself and surrendered. His grandmother was reported to be in critical condition following surgery at a local hospital, the Times reported, citing LA Police Chief Michel Moore. The second woman involved in the domestic dispute, who was unnamed, was reported to be in good condition with a minor head injury.
Six people were taken to the hospital, all listed in fair condition, CNN reported.
“We all laid there for about a half an hour until LAPD came and got us out. They helped carry me across the parking lot, and they sort of tossed me over a wall,” Don Kohles, 91, told CNN.
Bail for Atkins was set at $2 million, according to the Times.