Woman Killed In Silver Lake Trader Joe's Hostage Situation
SILVER LAKE, CA — One woman was killed after a suspect being pursued by police barricaded himself inside the Silver Lake Trader Joe’s and held multiple people hostage Saturday, officials said at a press conference. Police say the woman was struck by gunfire but it’s unclear whether she was shot by the suspect being pursued.
The suspect was taken into custody. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said at the press conference that the suspect asked for handcuffs at the end, handcuffing himself before surrendering to police.
Police say the incident began around 1:30 p.m. Saturday in South Los Angeles where the suspect fled from the scene of a shooting. Garcetti said he was involved in some kind of dispute and shot his grandmother as many as seven times before pulling another female victim into a car and fleeing the scene. Police said that woman was also shot and injured.
The suspect was located via LoJack in the Hollywood area and a pursuit ensued at which point police say the suspect fired multiple rounds at the officers pursuing him. Garcetti said that the suspect blew out his back windows shooting at officers.
Police say the suspect then crashed his car and there was an exchange of gunfire that injured the suspect in his left arm. He then fled inside the Trader Joe’s near the intersection of Hyperion Avenue and Griffith Park Boulevard where police say he held multiple people hostage.
Don Kohles, 91, was walking into the supermarket when he saw a car being chased police crash into a pole just outside. Police fired at the driver, shattering the store’s glass doors and Kohles and others inside took cover and laid on the floor as the suspect ran into the store, he said.
He could hear others around him sobbing as the man ran toward the back of the store and yell at people, but Kohles said he never heard any more gunshots. After about 30 minutes, police came inside and rushed some of the customers out, he said.
The woman killed in the incident was rescued by officers but they were unable to revive her, police said. She has not been identified.
A tactical alert was issued to deploy all necessary resources to the scene, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti. At least 100 firefighters and 18 ambulances were called to the scene. Fire officials said earlier that one woman who was injured was taken to the hospital in stable condition.
Officials say the suspect’s grandmother was taken to the hospital in very grave condition and she has undergone a series of surgeries and remains in critical condition. The second female victim who was forcefully pulled into the car is in good condition, police said.
The area will remain closed as the investigation continues.
President Donald Trump tweeted that he is “Watching Los Angeles possible hostage situation very closely” and that Los Angeles police officers were working with federal law enforcement.
A family reunification center has been established at at LAPD Northeast Station, 3353 N. San Fernando Road. Concerned family members can also call 323-561-3211.
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Reporting from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Photo: In this image from video provided by KNBC-TV, Los Angeles Police officers remove a passenger from a car that crashed after a pursuit with the driver who ran into a nearby Trader Joe’s supermarket in the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles Saturday, July 21, 2018. (KNBC-TV via Associated Press)