A gunman who took 40 people hostage at a Trader Joe’s in the Los Angeles area surrendered to police Saturday, but only after shootings that left one person dead and two others wounded, officials said.
“The suspect at #SilverLake#TraderJoes is in #LAPD custody. Thank you to @LAPDHQ and all of our first responders for their bravery and swift action to resolve this incident,” Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted Saturday night.
The chaotic chain of events began Saturday afternoon when the 28-year-old gunman, whose name was not released as of early Sunday, shot his grandmother at least seven times and also shot another woman, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The suspect then forced a woman police said was his girlfriend into his grandmother’s Toyota Camry. When police pursued, the gunman fired, shattering his rear window. He then popped a tire trying to make a corner.
“The tire exploded. When he couldn’t move the car, the police shot at him. I dove onto the floor,” witness Elias Cueva, who works nearby, told the Times. The car then struck a light pole outside Trader Joe’s.
The gunman fired at police and was wounded in the left arm by return fire. He then entered Trader Joe’s where about 40 people were taken hostage, according to The New York Times.
“Then this guy comes out of the car and starts running toward TJs,” said witness Don Kohles, 91, according to CNN.
“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. 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.
Officers rescued a group of children after an armed suspect opened fire and barricaded himself inside a Trader Joe’s in the Hollywood area. Live updates: https://t.co/tbjgPmD5iq pic.twitter.com/873SgyQwsj
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) July 21, 2018
The gunman “was very focused in getting out of the cops’ vision,” witness Miguel Trujillo said, according to CNN. “The exchange of bullets were all in an instant.”
The destructive and tragic consequences one person can inflict are at the forefront of our minds tonight, as is the valor & dedication of our men & women who strived to protect so many innocent people-Our thoughts, prayers & hearts are with all effected by this senseless incident pic.twitter.com/NFXrM52tm3
— Chief Michel Moore (@LAPDChiefMoore) July 22, 2018
During the three-hour standoff, Melyda Corado, a Trader Joe’s employee, was shot and killed, Fox News reported.
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. #TraderJoes #SilverLake
— Albert J. Corado (@digitalurn) July 22, 2018
Other hostages were either released or slipped out. Corado was killed in the initial exchange of fire when the suspect entered the store, Fox quoted a police source as saying.
After three hours, the gunman surrendered, accompanied by several hostages.
— christina heller (@CHellerTVNews) July 22, 2018
The gunman’s grandmother was reported in critical condition.
The other person injured was reported in good condition, but with a head wound. Six people inside Trader Joe’s were also treated for cuts related to the standoff.
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