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Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore on Tuesday revealed that the Trader Joe’s employee killed during a shootout with a gunman and officers was fatally struck with a round from police.
Melyda Marciela Corado, 27, was shot and killed Saturday during a standoff with police after 28-year-old Gene Evin Atkins allegedly opened fire on officers who were pursuing him after he allegedly shot his grandmother and another female.
“I’m sorry to report that we’ve now determined through our forensic investigation that one of the officers’ rounds struck Ms. Corado as she was exiting the market and was in close proximity to Atkins,” Moore told reporters. “Ms. Corado ran back into the store and collapsed behind the manager’s desk.”
The police chief told reporters that the investigation into the shootout at the grocery store on Hyperion Avenue in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood is ongoing, but from the information he has so far received, he believes officers responded to the threat appropriately.
“This has been a devastating ordeal. On behalf of myself and the men and women of this department, I want to express my deepest condolences and sympathy to her family and to everyone who knew her,” Moore said of Corado.
During the media conference, Moore also showed three different camera feeds that recorded the shooting, which included the body cameras worn by the two officers who first responded and exchanged gunfire with Atkins and also the dash cam from the police cruiser.
The video appears to show Atkins firing at police while he was being pursued, and then the shootout with Atkins and the officers. Moore said Atkins fired two shots as he got out of his car before running into the busy Trader Joe’s. The two officers fired a total of eight shots before retreating behind a wall for cover. The suspect allegedly kept firing from inside the store, Moore said. He declined to release the officers’ names.
Later on Tuesday, Atkins was officially charged with 31 counts, including one count each of murder, kidnapping, fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle while driving recklessly, grand theft of an automobile, driving or taking a vehicle without consent, discharge of a firearm with gross negligence, shooting at an occupied motor vehicle and assault with a firearm, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.
Atkins is charged with Corado’s murder.
Prosecutors recommended Atkins’ bail be set at $18.7 million, according to the D.A.’s office.
If convicted as charged, Atkins faces a possible maximum sentence of life in prison.
LAPD releases police body cam video of the pursuit & shoot out with suspect Gene Atkins. Store mgr Mely Corado shot & killed by officer’s return fire while exiting Trader Joe’s. Chief says “every officer’s worst nightmare.” @CBSLA pic.twitter.com/AjMgmuuZWl
— JASMINE VIEL (@jasmineviel) July 24, 2018
11:40 a.m.: Updated with official charges from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.
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