A gunman had a three-hour standoff with police in a Los Angeles Trader Joe’s with 40-50 employees and customers inside.
The manager of a Los Angeles-area Trader Joe’s store was the person killed during an hours-long hostage standoff that began with a gunfight between police and a man who had kidnapped and shot his girlfriend, according to news reports Sunday.
Friends and family confirmed to multiple media outlets that Melyda Corado died during a shootout Saturday between police and a man who has not been publicly identified. Authorities have not yet said who fired the shots that killed Corado.
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.”
The incident began in the early afternoon when a man, 28, shot and wounded both his grandmother and girlfriend, then kidnapped his girlfriend and fled, according to police.
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 and ran into the Silver Lake Trader Joe’s, taking dozens of people hostage.
“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.
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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