One Dead, Shooting Suspect In Custody After Police Standoff At LA Trader Joe’s

July 22, 2018

Updated at 11:56 p.m. ET

Los Angeles police say a suspected gunman who held people hostage inside a Trader Joe’s in the city’s Silver Lake neighborhood is now in custody. At least one person is dead.

Police identified the suspect as a man about 28 years old, who surrendered three hours after barricading himself inside the store where other people had been trapped. Police have not yet released the suspect’s name.

Officials say the incident began Saturday afternoon when the suspect shot his grandmother and girlfriend around 1:30 p.m. at a South Los Angeles residence. He then forced his girlfriend outside toward a vehicle, and drove away in his grandmother’s Toyota Camry, LAPD Sgt. Barry Montgomery said.

After reports of the domestic shooting, police used a theft-tracking device to find the suspect near Hollywood. “The suspect was located via LoJack and a pursuit ensued at which point the suspect fired multiple rounds at pursuing officers,” the LAPD tweeted in a thread after the incident concluded. No officers were injured. The chase ended in the suspect crashing into a pole outside the Trader Joe’s.

The suspect fled the vehicle and hid inside the store. Some customers managed to escape the store with help from police and employees. Footage showed police officers helping people to climb out of windows with rope ladders.

Reporter Doualy Xaykaothao in Los Angeles tells NPR the gunman took 40-50 people hostage.

Twenty-four-year-old Julia Arnold, who lives behind Trader Joe’s, tells Xaykaothao was leaving her house when she saw the chaotic scene. Arnold spoke to a young woman who’d been in contact with her brother, one of the hostages who she heard had been hiding in either a “refrigerator or freezer.”

LAPD Chief Michael Moore said the gunman killed one young woman inside the store. Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman David Ortiz said earlier that a different female in “stable condition” had been taken to the hospital.

The standoff ended when the gunman handcuffed himself, said Mayor Eric Garcetti. Via aerial video, the suspect was seen exiting the market in handcuffs. A number of people also left the store; one person was sitting on a stretcher. Garcetti thanked the LAPD and the Los Angeles Fire Department, adding that the heroism shown Saturday was “second to none.”

“We have successfully taken the suspect into custody without incident,” the LAPD tweeted.

Earlier Saturday, President Trump tweeted that he’s “watching Los Angeles possible hostage situation very closely.” Retweeting the president, the LAPD did not dispute his description of the incident as a “hostage situation,” but the LAPD had not yet labeled it as such.

After the incident ended, the LAPD said the suspect held “multiple victims hostage.”

In an earlier tweet, the LAPD said they were responding to “an active police incident at the #TraderJoes near the intersection of Hyperion Ave and Griffith Park Blvd.” LAPD Asst. Chief Robert Arcos said in a press briefing that a shooter had been “barricaded” in the store.

This is a developing story. Some things that get reported by the media will later turn out to be wrong. We will focus on reports from police officials and other authorities, credible news outlets and reporters who are at the scene. We will update as the situation develops.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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