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21st of August 2018

International



Trader Joe's employee was killed by police bullet in supermarket gun battle | CBC News

A store worker killed in a gun battle before a suspect took hostages in a crowded Los Angeles supermarket was hit by a police officer's bullet, the city's police chief says.

Melyda Corado, 27, was leaving the store Saturday as suspect Gene Evin Atkins, 28, was going into the store after firing two rounds with officers pursuing him, Michel Moore told reporters.

The two officers each fired back at Atkins, and one of their rounds went through one of Corado's arms and into her body.

In deciding whether to open fire, the officers had to consider whether the suspect in what was already a long-running series of violent events would become an active shooter in a market crowded with weekend shoppers, Moore said.

"That is the worst, worst decision that any officer ever wishes to have to make," the chief said.

Atkins was scheduled to be arraigned later Tuesday on numerous charges.

Domestic dispute

The events began about 1:30 p.m. in South Los Angeles. Atkins allegedly shot and wounded his 76-year-old grandmother and fled in a stolen car, taking with him  a 17-year-old girl who was grazed by a bullet. Moore said taking the girl amounted to kidnapping.

Around 3 p.m., officers spotted Atkins in Hollywood and got into a car chase with him.

In this photo provided by Christian Dunlop, police officers use a mirror to see inside a Trader Joe's store during the standoff. (Christian Dunlop via AP)

Moore said Atkins fired at the officers through the rear window of his vehicle, but the officers did not fire back at that time.

About 15 minutes later, he crashed into a utility pole outside a Trader Joe's market in the Silver Lake neighbourhood, where the gun battle erupted. Corado was fatally struck and Atkins was wounded in the arm.

Store employees and customers fled or hid.

Atkins held some as hostages, let some go and then surrendered several hours later.

Investigators recovered casings of the two bullets fired at the officers after the car crash, Moore said.

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