National News

Hostages Freed From Trader Joe’s in Los Angeles; 1 Woman Is Dead

Posted July 21, 2018 11:34 p.m. EDT

LOS ANGELES — One person was killed at a Trader Joe’s in Los Angeles on Saturday when a suspect in an armed shooting exchanged gunfire with the police, ran into the store and barricaded himself with hostages for about three hours, city officials said.

The victim, a young woman, was fatally shot inside the store, Chief Michel Moore of the Los Angeles Police Department said Saturday night. It was unclear whether she was killed by the gunman or was caught in the crossfire with the police.

The suspect had been fleeing the police after he injured his grandmother and another woman in a shooting earlier in the day. Armed with a handgun, he took about 40 people hostage inside the store, including children, shoppers and employees, the authorities said.

For several hours, the standoff unfolded in Silver Lake, a neighborhood on the east side of the city that has been marked by gentrification and an influx of younger residents. After the standoff began, the area was locked down and streets were filled with police cars and firetrucks.

Law enforcement officers surrounded the store, and shoppers and employees fled, running away on foot and climbing out a window. Video footage showed officers carrying children away in their arms.

The authorities rescued some hostages, and the gunman released others, officials said. Finally, after about three hours, the suspect handcuffed himself and surrendered, the authorities said.

“The heroism that was shown today was second to none,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a news conference.

Officials did not release the names of the suspect or the woman who died.

The ordeal began around 1:30 p.m., when the suspect shot his grandmother as many as seven times, Moore said. The grandmother had surgery and was in critical condition Saturday night, he said.

The suspect also shot and injured another woman, whom he kidnapped in his car, Moore said.

The suspect fled from the police in a 2015 Toyota Camry and, at one point, began shooting at officers from his car, the authorities said. He eventually crashed his car near the Trader Joe’s and exchanged gunfire with the police in the area.

No officers were injured. The police said the suspect was being treated for a wounded arm.

The situation drew the attention of President Donald Trump, who tweeted at one point during the standoff that he was watching it “very closely.”