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Police Video: LAPD Bullet Killed Silver Lake Trader Joe’s Manager Melyda Corado During Shooting

[dropcap size=big]A[/dropcap] Los Angeles Police Officer fired the bullet that killed Silver Laker Trader Joe’s assistant store manager Melyda Corado Saturday in a brazen middle of the day shootout, Chief Mike Moore announced in a press conference Tuesday morning.

The LAPD also released an extended edit of the body-cam footage of police officers who were involved in the incident, in compliance with recent rules for more timely releases of major-incident evidenceMoore said Corado was one of several people who moved toward the store’s entrance after hearing bullets exchanged between Gene Atkins, who allegedly shot his 76-year-old grandmother, kidnapped a 17-year-old girl and shot at pursuing police officers using a semi-automatic weapon.  

The pursuit ended when Atkins crashed his grandmother’s Toyota Camry into a telephone pole outside the Trader Joe’s, where he got off and made a run for the entrance while firing back at officers. Moore said the officers fired back at Atkins “in defense of their lives and to protect Atkins from harming other individuals.”

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Moore released surveillance and body cam footage from the incident that shows officers firing approximately eight shots after exiting the car. Atkins is seen firing first as he runs into the Trader Joe’s. Officers did not appear to return fire while driving when Atkins released an initial volley of bullets from his semi-automatic pistol.

“I’m sorry to report that we’ve now determined through our forensic investigation that one of the officers’ rounds struck Miss Corado as she was exiting the market and was in close proximity to Atkins. Miss Corado ran back into the store and collapsed behind the manager’s desk,” Moore explained.

Mary Elizabeth Madison, Atkins’s grandmother, and the 17-year-old girl, who was also shot by Atkins, remain in critical condition, Moore said.  The 28-year-old Atkins, allegedly got into an altercation with his grandmother early Saturday before shooting her several times and forcing the young teenager into his grandmother’s car. The teen was hit in the incident.

Police officers pursued Atkins, who shot at them out of the back of the Camry before crashing in Silver Lake. Once inside the Trader Joe’s, Atkins held several employees and customers hostage for hours before surrendering. Moore said he will wait until all the evidence and surveillance footage is reviewed before making a decision on whether the LAPD officers acted properly in the incident.

“I know that it’s every officer’s worst nightmare to hurt an innocent bystander during a violent engagement,” Moore said Tuesday. “I spoke with the officers this morning — they’re devastated. They were devastated in the immediate aftermath of this event.”

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He noted that most of the evidence clearly points to Atkins being responsible for the incident that ultimately led to Corado’s death. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office filed more than 30 charges against Atkins, including a murder charge for Corado’s death, 6 counts of attempted murder, and 13 counts of false imprisonment of hostages. Bail is set at $9 million.

Atkins faces the murder charge despite the police officer’s bullet causing Croardo’s death under the provocative act, which applies when someone’s actions lead or provoke someone else’s death. However, criticism also rose quickly about what some called an automatic lack of accountability for the gunfire that claimed the life of a bystander.

Watch the full press conference below.

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