Police in Los Angeles have arrested a gunman who took hostages and barricaded himself inside a grocery store on Saturday for three hours, fatally shooting a woman inside.
Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department were pursuing the gunman, who is suspected of shooting an "elderly woman" and "a woman in her 20s" in the area of South Central around 1 p.m., LAPD Officer Mike Lopez told HuffPost. That girlfriend was also wounded in the shooting at the home and authorities say Atkins then forced her into a vehicle and took off in the chase that ended with a crash at Trader Joe's.
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 suspect's vehicle crashed next to the store and he opened fire on the officers chasing him, before entering the premises as shoppers ran for cover, the Los Angeles Times said.
The gunman was apprehended, and his grandmother was in critical condition at a hospital, the Times reported.
Los Angeles police handcuffed a man outside a Trader Joe's on Saturday evening, bringing an end to the hostage standoff situation.
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said the suspect, 28, shot his grandmother about seven times, leaving her in grave condition, and hit his girlfriend once, grazing her head. One person was injured, reports say. "For better or worse, she was herself", Alberto Corado said.
Trader Joe's called the attack the "saddest day in Trader Joe's history" in a statement on its website, saying the store would remain closed indefinitely.
"I ducked behind the 4 foot retaining wall in the parking lot and three LAPD officers ran over, knelt behind it right next to me and opened fire", said Mr Field.
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The suspect ultimately surrendered at 6:30 p.m., walking out of the store with a group of hostages. Footage showed police officers helping people to climb out of windows with rope ladders.
Employees and customers inside scrambled for cover, they said later.
Police aren't sure what led to the initial violence that produced the vehicle chase and standoff.
Mayor Eric Garcetti congratulated police and firefighters for their work, adding: "The heroism that was shown today was second to none, and the teams that were able to respond, secure the perimeter and engage in conversation with the suspect no doubt saved lives today", he said.
"An unknown number of people have been removed", Montgomery said.
"We know we have people inside, we simply don't know how many", the LAPD said.
A manager at Gelson's Market, across the street from Trader Joe's, said people inside the market heard shots fired outside. None had been shot and all were in fair condition.
Atkins never grew violent toward his grandmother before, Egland said, but she started to grow concerned about him over the last several weeks because he seemed upset and distant.