Trader Joe’s employee was killed by officer’s bullet, LAPD says

Melyda Corado, a Trader Joe’s assistant manager who died during a shootout and standoff Saturday, was killed by an officer’s bullet, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said.

“I am truly sorry,” Moore said at a news conference Tuesday. “It is unimaginable the pain of the Corado family. We share the pain today.”

He said Corado was exiting the store as suspect Gene Evin Atkins was entering the store in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Silver Lake. That’s when Corado was hit by LAPD gunfire, Moore said.

The melee started when Atkins allegedly shot his grandmother and kidnapped a 17-year-old female acquaintance. He fled in a car while firing shots out the back window toward pursuing officers, police said.

Moore said officers did not fire at the gunman during the chase. But after Atkins crashed the car and continued firing toward police, officers returned fire, the police chief said.

Atkins fled into the Trader Joe’s, where a three-hour standoff ensued.

He now faces 30 charges, including one count of murder; six counts of attempted murder (including four counts attempted murder against a police officer); 13 counts of false imprisonment of hostages; and one count of felony evading.

Atkins is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday. Bail is set at $9 million.