BREAKING NEWS : Tornado warning issued for parts of Allen, Whitley and Huntington counties Full Story
BREAKING NEWS : Fort Wayne police investigate shooting on Sherman Boulevard Full Story
SEVERE WX : Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Severe Thunderstorm Warning View Alerts

Trader Joe's standoff ends with one dead

A Trader Joe's employee is dead and a wounded suspect is in custody after a standoff in Los Angeles stretched through several tense hours before the suspect surrendered. CNN's Paul Vercammen reports.

Posted: Jul 23, 2018 6:12 PM
Updated: Jul 23, 2018 6:31 PM

Los Angeles police identified the suspect in Saturday's deadly armed standoff at a Trader Joe's grocery store as Gene Evin Atkins.

Atkins, 28, is being held on one count of murder and other charges soon to be determined, Los Angeles police Officer Drake Madison told CNN on Sunday. His bail was set at $2 million.

A Trader Joe's employee, Melyda Eldorado, died in the standoff, which stretched over several tense hours Saturday before the gunman surrendered.

About 40 people were inside the grocery store on Hyperion Avenue in Los Angeles' Silver Lake neighborhood when an armed man ran in, police said. He had crashed a car nearby after firing multiple rounds at officers pursuing him, police said.

The man was fleeing police after a shooting involving an elderly woman and a young woman, Los Angeles police Officer Mike Lopez told CNN. The older woman was the suspect's grandmother, police said. He was driving her car when he wrecked it near the Trader Joe's.

The store remains closed until further notice to give employees time to process the incident, Trader Joe's said in a statement.

"Yesterday marks the saddest day in Trader Joe's history as we mourn the loss of one of our own. Our thoughts are with her family, and our Crew Members and customers who experienced this terrifying and unimaginable ordeal," the statement said. "We will continue to do whatever we can to support them. Thank you for your understanding and outpouring of support."

What we know about the victim

Customers ran out of the store when the armed man burst in. 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 talking with hostage negotiators, the suspect handcuffed himself and surrendered, police said.

At a news conference afterward, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said a woman inside the store was killed. He did not identify her or say how she died. The suspect's arm was injured in an exchange of gunfire with police, Garcetti told reporters after the standoff ended.

The victim's brother identified her. Eldorado worked at Trader Joe's for four to five years, Albert Corado said.

"She was the person I loved the most in the world," Corado said.

Eldorado was a store manager, CNN affiliate KABC reported.

Public safety agencies responded to the standoff. An armored police vehicle was on the scene along with ambulances and dozens of law enforcement vehicles.

Six people ranging in age from 12 to 81 were taken to the hospital, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. No one suffered life-threatening injuries, spokeswoman Margaret Stewart said.

Among the injured was a 20-year-old woman, who was removed from a vehicle, Stewart said. It was not immediately known whether that woman was part of the shooting before the grocery store standoff.

Police Chief Michel Moore said the suspect shot his grandmother seven times. She has undergone multiple surgeries at a hospital.

'Boom, boom, boom, boom'

A witness said he saw a car crash into something resembling a fire hydrant or a utility pole in front of the Trader Joe's. A man exited the car and ran into the grocery store, said Don Kohles, 91.

"I look behind me and there were two police guys coming with heavy guns, then boom, boom, boom, boom, so I go into TJ's and I see this guy and he comes in," he said.

"And I see the two front-glass doors shot out. I look around and I see a TJ's employee laying on the ground, then all the help was laying on the ground," he said.

The employee did not appear to be hurt, Kohles said.

"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," Kohles said.

Another witness said it appeared that traffic prevented the suspect from escaping police when he crashed in front of the store.

The suspect had a pistol in his hand and "just started opening fire on the police behind him," Devin Field said. When police returned fire, Field and others got down on the ground, he said.

"After he was inside the store for a little while, they had me crawl away from the scene and run away around the corner," Field said.

The exchange of bullets seemed to happen in an instant, witness Miguel Trujillo said.

"He was very focused in getting out of the cops' vision."

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to give the correct spelling of the LAPD chief's first name.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 74328

Reported Deaths: 3041
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15860725
Lake7570275
Elkhart484384
Allen3902163
St. Joseph350081
Hamilton2763104
Vanderburgh196313
Hendricks1887108
Cass17959
Johnson1757118
Porter131639
Clark123347
Tippecanoe121111
Madison97965
LaPorte91130
Howard89065
Kosciusko85212
Bartholomew79347
Marshall78422
Floyd77946
Monroe75630
Delaware73052
Dubois69612
Boone67846
Noble67829
Hancock66038
Vigo65110
Jackson5865
Warrick58130
LaGrange55910
Shelby55327
Grant52630
Dearborn50828
Morgan47634
Clinton4343
Henry38320
Wayne37710
White36910
Montgomery35421
Lawrence34627
Harrison33823
Decatur33732
Putnam2888
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25034
Jasper2432
Franklin24214
DeKalb2324
Gibson2254
Jennings22512
Steuben2103
Ripley2087
Carroll1912
Fayette1897
Perry18612
Starke1787
Orange17124
Posey1710
Wabash1693
Fulton1682
Wells1682
Jefferson1632
Knox1540
Whitley1526
Washington1401
Tipton13810
Spencer1363
Sullivan1261
Huntington1223
Randolph1224
Clay1215
Newton11810
Adams1012
Jay910
Owen901
Pulaski831
Rush804
Fountain742
Brown731
Ohio655
Blackford642
Benton610
Pike530
Switzerland520
Vermillion520
Parke511
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren221
Unassigned0206

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 100848

Reported Deaths: 3669
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18317524
Cuyahoga13514499
Hamilton9643255
Lucas5348323
Montgomery436294
Summit3555222
Butler292963
Marion292545
Mahoning2554255
Pickaway238742
Stark1827139
Warren178939
Lorain177078
Columbiana165860
Trumbull1524106
Fairfield138732
Delaware130119
Licking128149
Clark114614
Lake111438
Wood104358
Clermont93311
Medina92335
Miami83938
Tuscarawas78214
Portage75861
Allen74044
Greene69012
Belmont62126
Mercer61213
Richland60412
Erie57527
Ashtabula56946
Geauga55644
Wayne53958
Ross4844
Huron3965
Darke39529
Ottawa38626
Hancock3783
Sandusky37716
Madison37410
Athens3571
Holmes3286
Lawrence2830
Auglaize2546
Union2511
Muskingum2361
Jefferson2292
Scioto2261
Seneca2143
Knox2057
Putnam20517
Preble2032
Washington20322
Shelby1944
Coshocton1936
Champaign1762
Crawford1745
Morrow1702
Hardin16512
Clinton1646
Highland1581
Logan1552
Fulton1481
Wyandot1468
Ashland1443
Defiance1444
Williams1353
Perry1303
Brown1292
Hocking1189
Guernsey1177
Henry1172
Fayette1130
Carroll1115
Monroe9318
Pike760
Jackson740
Van Wert711
Paulding690
Gallia651
Adams612
Meigs400
Vinton312
Harrison261
Morgan260
Noble160
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 70°
Angola
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 68°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 68°
Decatur
68° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 68°
Van Wert
68° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 68°
Storms Monday Night
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events