Richard Winton, Christine Mai-Duc, Jack Dolan
Slide 1 of 18: A makeshift memorial of flowers, candles and notes grows on the sidewalk outside the Los Feliz Trader Joe's store in Los Angeles, Sunday, July 22, 2018. A day earlier, Trader Joe's employee Melyda Corado was shot and killed at the store by a suspect being chased by police. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
1/18 SLIDES Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo
A makeshift memorial of flowers, candles and notes grows on the sidewalk outside the Los Feliz Trader Joe's store on July 22, in Los Angeles. A day earlier, Trader Joe's employee Melyda Corado was shot and killed at the store by a suspect being chased by police.
2/18 SLIDES Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo
Access is blocked to a Trader Joe's grocery store in the Los Feliz neighborhood.
3/18 SLIDES Christian Monterrosa/AP Photo
In this Saturday, July 21, 2018, file photo provided by Christian Monterrosa, Gene Evin Atkins is arrested after evading police and holding dozens of people hostage inside a Trader Joe's supermarket. A feud between Atkins and his grandmother over his girlfriend staying at the grandmother's home exploded into violence that ultimately led to him taking people hostage inside the Los Angeles supermarket, a relative said Sunday.
4/18 SLIDES Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo
A card for Trader Joe's employee Melyda Corado, who was shot and killed a day earlier at the store by a suspect being chased by police, hangs at a makeshift memorial outside the supermarket.
5/18 SLIDES Christian Monterrosa/AP Photo
In this photo provided by Christian Monterrosa, a Trader Joe's employee, right, hugs her loved ones.
6/18 SLIDES Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti addresses the press after a suspect barricaded inside a Trader Joe's supermarket on July 21 in Silverlake, Los Angeles. Police believe a man involved in a standoff at the grocery store shot his grandmother and girlfriend and then fired at officers during a pursuit before he crashed into a utility pole outside the supermarket and ran inside the store. Hours after he took hostages in the store, the suspect surrendered.
7/18 SLIDES KNBC-TV via AP
In this image from video provided by KNBC-TV, hostages and a suspect leave a Trader Joe's supermarket as Los Angeles Police officers close in at right, in the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles on July 21
8/18 SLIDES Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo
An unidentified woman is help by paramedics at a triage area on July 21.
9/18 SLIDES Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo
An unidentified woman sits next to witnesses on a sidewalk after the incident on July 21.
10/18 SLIDES Getty Images
Police respond to a hostage situation at a Trader Joe's store on July 21 in Los Angeles
11/18 SLIDES Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
Police officers escort people after a suspect barricaded inside a Trader Joe's supermarket on July 21
12/18 SLIDES Christian Dunlop/AP Photo
Police officers use a mirror to see inside a Trader Joe's store on July 21.
13/18 SLIDES Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
A Trader Joe's employee is comforted after a hostage like situation on July 21 in LA store.
14/18 SLIDES Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
A Trader Joe's employee is seen after a suspect barricaded himself inside the supermarket on July 21.
15/18 SLIDES Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
Police officers and members of the Los Angeles Fire Department escort a boy on a stretcher after a suspect barricaded inside a Trader Joe's supermarket on July 21.
16/18 SLIDES Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
Police officers and members of the Los Angeles Fire Department are seen during hostage situation in LA supermarket on July 21.
17/18 SLIDES Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo
A Los Angeles Police Department officer escorts Trader Joe's employees to the Silver Lake Community Church, a block away from their Trader Joe's store, on July 21 in Los Angeles.
18/18 SLIDES Christian Dunlop/AP Photo
Police officers stand guard near a crashed vehicle on July 21.
Slideshow by photo services
Los Angeles police continued to investigate the deadly gun battle at a Silver Lake Trader Joe’s that killed a store employee as the stunned community mourned.
Family members identified the woman who was killed as Melyda Corado. Her brother tweeted Saturday afternoon that his sister worked at the store and that he could not locate her. Later, Albert Corado tweeted: “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 was the store manager, according to a law enforcement source. She was shot inside the store and died at the scene, authorities said.
Condolences for Corado spread both in the neighborhood and on social media.
“I worked with her for years. I am so so so sorry. Such a lovely, sweet, friendly, hardworking woman. I was thinking about her the whole time, and it’s just incomprehensible,” one former Trader Joe’s employee wrote on Twitter.
The gunfire stunned the Silver Lake community.
The ordeal began as a family dispute in South Los Angeles involving the still unidentified man, 28, who shot his grandmother at least seven times and injured another woman, according to police.
The gunman dragged the second woman into his grandmother’s Toyota Camry and fled.
Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
Police found the car in Hollywood using transmissions from its anti-theft device, and a chase ensued. The gunman blew out his own rear window while firing at police, officials said. The pursuit ended with the Camry crashing into a light post outside the Trader Joe’s in Silver Lake.
The gunman exchanged fire with police and was struck in his left arm before running inside the store, police said.
Between 40 and 50 others were trapped inside, and a three-hour hostage negotiation ensued. During that time, the suspect allowed some to leave while others sneaked out. Some crawled out of windows.
The grandmother was in critical condition after undergoing surgery, according to Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore. The second woman injured by the gunman suffered a relatively minor head wound and was in good condition, he said.
Don Kohles was outside the store when he saw the end of the pursuit.
Immediately, he heard two shots and ducked into the exit door. He looked back at the street and saw two police officers shooting at the man.
“The bullets were flying everywhere through the front of the store and across the parking lot,” he said.
The gunfire shattered the glass doors, he said, and the gunman ran into the store and “down the middle aisle.”
A woman at the Gelson’s supermarket across the street said people inside heard the gunfire and that everyone dived to the floor. She said employees eventually let shoppers out.
Elias Cueva, who works at Gelson’s, was outside on his lunch break and saw the police chase.
“The tire exploded. When he couldn’t move the car, the police shot at him. I dove onto the floor,” he said.
Inside Gelson’s, employees thought the shooter was outside.
“Right when we heard the gunshots, we went down,” Avo Kegeyan said. “We thought the shooter was in our parking lot shooting at us.”