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Suspect arrested on murder charges

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A gunman had a three-hour standoff with police in a Los Angeles Trader Joe’s with 40-50 employees and customers inside.
USA TODAY

A man who allegedly shot his grandmother and led police on a chase to a Trader Joe’s supermarket where a woman was shot and killed has been arrested on suspicion of murder, authorities said Sunday.

Gene Evin Atkins, 28, was being held Sunday morning on $2 million bail, Officer Drake Madison, a Los Angeles police spokesman, told The Associated Press. It wasn’t clear whether he had an attorney and a message left at a number listed for Atkins in public records wasn’t immediately returned.

The Los Angeles County coroner also confirmed that the victim was Melyda Corado, 27. An autopsy is pending. Corado was a store manager, according to news reports.

Corado’s brother, who posted on Twitter during the standoff that he couldn’t reach his sister, later posted that she had died: “I’m sad to say she didn’t make it. My baby sister. My world. I appreciate the retweets and the love. Please respect my family’s privacy as we are still coming to terms with this.”

“She was the person I loved the most in the world. She was never anyone but herself for better or worse, she was herself,” Alpert Corado said of his sister in an interview with CNN.

Atkins’ grandmother was hospitalized in critical condition after the shooting and police had no update on her condition Sunday. Atkins allegedly shot her seven times and injured another woman, who he forced into a car, at a South Los Angeles home around 1:30 p.m. Saturday, police said.

Police said they used the car’s LoJack system to track the vehicle, and then got into a gunfight with the man when they tried to pull the car over. The man crashed the car into a pole outside the Silver Lake Trader Joe’s and then ran inside, taking dozens of people hostage.

More: Los Angeles Trader Joe’s standoff: Woman killed in shootout, injured suspect taken into custody

Helicopter footage showed the tense moments as police rescued hostages from windows and other exits. Officers in SWAT gear ran while carrying children away from the store.

Throughout the ordeal, officers with riot gear, armed with rifles, stood along the side of Trader Joe’s and used mirrors to try to look inside as hostages periodically came out the front door with hands raised. 

After three hours, negotiators were able to persuade the suspect to come out peacefully, and he walked out alongside four hostages with their hands up. 

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