Employee Killed When Shooter Enters CA Trader Joe's

24 Jul, 2018 Liz Carey


Silver Lake, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) – A manager for a California Trader Joe’s has died after a 28-year-old man entered the store and took hostages following a chase from law enforcement on Saturday.

Gene Atkins, the suspected shooter, is being held in lieu of $2 million in bail on suspicion of murder, said Officer Drake Madison, spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department.

Police said Atkins fled from police officers after he allegedly shot his grandmother and kidnapped another woman. The chase ended near the Trader Joe’s parking lot. Police said Atkins then entered the Trader Joe’s as he was exchanging gun fire with police, trapping several employees and dozens of shoppers inside the building.

According to the police, employees fled the building through windows, and some were released by the gunman during an hours-long negotiation. Authorities said that Melyda Corado, a manager at the store, was killed during the shoot-out. It was not initially clear if Corado was killed by Atkins or the police during the exchange of gun fire.

A spokesman for the LAPD in an interview with WorkersCompensation.com said that the autopsy results for Corado were not yet in, and there was no timeline for when those results may be received.

Atkins, at one point during the negotiations, told police over the phone that it was their fault that Corado was dead, according to eye witnesses at the scene.

Corado was identified in social media by her brother. Albert Corado tweeted Saturday night that he could not locate her and that she worked at the store. Later, he tweeted “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.” 

Former co-workers and community members came together to remember Corado. 

“I worker with her for years. I am so so so sorry. Such a lovely, sweet, friendly, hardworking woman. I was thinking about her the whole time, and it’s just incomprehensible,” one former employee tweeted on Saturday.

In a statement, the company said the store would remain closed to give “crew members time to process yesterday’s events.” The company said it would support the crew members in whatever way they could. 

“Yesterday marks the saddest day in Trader Joe’s history as we mourn the loss of one of our own,” the company said in a statement on its website. “Our thought are with her family, and our crew member and customers who experienced this terrifying and unimaginable ordeal.” 

Customers of the store came to place flowers and other memorial keepsakes, including notes, near the store.

“All of the employees are part of our community,” one note said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “We will care for each other.”

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    About The Author

    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

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