Trader Joe's Employee Helps Hostages Escape Gunman; 1 Dead In Los Angeles

Los Angeles police handcuffed a man outside a Trader Joe's on Saturday evening, bringing an end to the hostage standoff situation.

After the arrest, Mayor Eric Garcetti said that a woman had been shot and killed inside the store, without clarifying her identity.

It happened in a blur, she said: Three to four shots erupted before he ran into the store.

Around 1:30 p.m., police spotted the suspect driving his grandmother's auto in the Hollywood area and a pursuit began.

Closures: No word on when the Trader Joe's store #17 will reopen. Officers in SWAT gear ran while carrying children away from the store.

Officers tracked the auto using a stolen-vehicle tracking system and tried to stop the man in Hollywood, but he refused to pull over, police said. The chase began after he shot two women.

Using a LoJack system, police traced the vehicle to the Hollywood area and gave chase, leading to Silver Lake, where the suspect crashed the Toyota into a power pole at 3:30 p.m.in front of the Trader Joe's supermarket in the 2700 block of Hyperion Avenue.

"My wife and I shopped here nearly weekly when we lived near here", said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti who, along with new LAPD Chief Michel Moore and Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu, held a news conference at the scene around 7 p.m. shortly after the gunman finally surrendered. An Associated Press employee who lives in the area reported seeing a vehicle crashed into a utility pole outside the store.

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The suspect is now in custody after holding the grocery store hostage for several hours before surrendering to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Employees and customers inside scrambled for cover, they said later.

Twenty-eight-year-old Gene Evin Atkins is being held on $2 million bail in connection with the fatal Trader Joe's hostage standoff in Los Angeles Saturday.

A 22-year-old woman was wounded by glass fragments and later took herself to a hospital, police said. During the chase, the suspect fired at officers, shooting out the back window of his vehicle.

A suspect wanted in connection with a shooting was barricaded inside a supermarket in the United States city of Los Angeles on Saturday, police said, in what USA media reported was a possible hostage situation.

A Los Angeles supermarket was barricaded after a gunman entered the store and took employees and victims hostage until eventually surrendering himself to the police. "They helped carry me across the parking lot, and they sort of tossed me over a wall", Kohles said. Employees snuck out through back emergency exits. He was driving her auto when he wrecked it near the Trader Joe's.

Earlier, another woman was taken from the crashed auto and taken to a local hospital.

"I am hurting", said LAPD Chief Moore, "because of the loss of life we've had in this situation".

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