Gene Atkins has been identified as the primary suspect who recently came unhinged, barricaded himself inside a Trader Joe’s grocery store and murdered one victim.
The suspect’s tirade began as a family dispute in a different area of Los Angeles county. He was allegedly arguing with his grandmother before he shot her at least seven times. The grandmother was critically wounded, and another victim was injured by the gunfire. The suspect dragged the injured woman into a vehicle and fled the area.
Police pursued the vehicle using it’s GPS tracking device, but the suspect began discharging his weapon indiscriminately at those following him. He smashed into a light post right outside of Trader Joe’s and continued to shoot while running into the store. The suspect was injured in his left arm by police fire during the chase.
The erratic man held everyone inside the store, which amounted to about 40 or 50 people, hostage. Negotiators attempted to safely remove the bystanders from the dangerous situation for about three hours. Video footage of the ordeal showed some patrons climbing down a rope ladder from a window while the shooter was distracted.
Over 100 firefighters and 18 ambulances were brought to the scene. Eventually, the gunman surrendered. His grandmother is listed in critical condition and needed surgery. The second injured victim did sustain a head wound, but she is listed in good condition. Melyda Corado, the manager of the Trader Joe’s, was killed during the incident.
The suspect is currently being detained under a $2-million bail.