A woman was shot and killed when a gunman ran into a busy Los Angeles supermarket where he held dozens of people hostage for about three hours Saturday before handcuffing himself and surrendering to police.
Gene Evin Atkins, 28, was booked Sunday on suspicion of murder after an explosion of violence that a relative said may have been brewing for weeks.
His cousin, Charlene Egland, told The Associated Press that he had been arguing with his grandmother - who had raised him since he was 7 years old - "on and off for about two or three weeks" over his girlfriend staying at the elderly woman's home. "I went in the first door, where you come out, he went in the second door where they all go in and that's a double door". Police said he had a wound to his arm.
Police said they were trying to determine what prompted a man to shoot his grandmother and wound another woman before he crashed his vehicle and ran into a busy supermarket, where he held dozens of people hostage in a tense standoff with heavily armed officers outside.
The chase ended with him crashing the vehicle outside the store and heading into the store.
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More gunfire ensued before Atkins crashed into a pole outside the supermarket.
The suspect has been shot and is talking with police negotiators, NBC Los Angeles said. She estimates she was in the auto for a half-hour until officers escorted her to safety. Some inside the supermarket climbed out windows as scores of police and firefighters and 18 ambulances converged on the scene and prepared for mass casualties. "She was a light", said customer Cedi Ali Rajah.
"I was working in the backroom, heard screaming and gunfire, ran upstairs, grabbed a couple co-workers, made my way to into a back section of the storage area upstairs", Gerace told CBS2. Some customers managed to escape the store with help from police and employees.
A Los Angeles supermarket was barricaded after a gunman entered the store and took employees and victims hostage until eventually surrendering himself to the police.
Atkins's grandmother underwent emergency surgery over the weekend and is expected to survive, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times. She was removed from a vehicle, not the inside of the store, Stewart said.
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Around 1:30 p.m., police spotted the suspect driving his grandmother's auto in the Hollywood area and a pursuit began. He also took the wounded woman with him.
Police in Los Angeles are responding to a shooting at a Trader Joe's in the Silver Lake area, according to KCBS.
Twenty-four-year-old Julia Arnold, who lives behind Trader Joe's, tells Xaykaothao she was leaving her house when she saw the chaotic scene.
"He did not seem high on drugs, to me", Westafer said. "I was at the Silverlake Trader Joe's but I got out and am fine". A makeshift memorial of flowers, candles and notes grew on the sidewalk outside the store.
"I'm sad to say she didn't make it, " he wrote.
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"The destructive and tragic consequences one person can inflict are at the forefront of our minds tonight, as is the valor and dedication of our men and women who strived to protect so many innocent people", said LAPD Chief Michel Moore via Twitter.