Trader Joe's Shooting Suspect Pleads Not Guilty
Gene Atkins' bail is set at $15.1 million.
The man accused of fatally shooting his grandmother before leading police on a high-speed chase that ended in another deadly shooting at the Silver Lake Trader Joe's pleaded not guilty on Monday, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office.
Gene Evin Atkins, 28, was charged with 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 authorities.
Atkins was charged with two counts of attempted, willful, deliberate and premeditated attempted murder; four counts of attempted murder of a peace officer; four counts of assault on a peace officer with a semiautomatic firearm; and 13 counts of false imprisonment of a hostage. There are additional allegations of gun use and causing great bodily injury and death, according to the district attorney's office.
The charges stem from incidents that took place July 21 when Atkins allegedly shot and killed his grandmother before leading police on a high-speech chase that ended at the Silver Lake Traders Joe's.
Store employee Melyda Marciela Corado, 27, was shot and killed in the crossfire between police officers and Atkins when he bailed from his car near the location's parking lot. He later surrendered after a standoff inside the store.
Days after the shooting, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore revealed that Corado has been struck by a bullet fired by one of the officers during the shootout.
"This has been a devastating ordeal," Moore said at the time. "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."
The chief also said then he believed his officers responded to the threat appropriately.
Atkins was charged with Corado's murder. His bail is set at $15.1 million.
Atkins is due back in court Feb. 15.