Trial ordered for suspect in fatal Trader Joe’s shooting
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A man who engaged in a gunfight with Los Angeles police at a Trader Joe’s supermarket that ended with the death of an assistant store manager has been found competent to stand trial for murder.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa B. Lench on Monday set a July 22 pretrial hearing for Gene Evin Atkins, CBS 2 News reported.
Atkins, 31, has pleaded both not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2018 death of Melyda Corado.
Atkins is charged Corado’s killing, even though she was struck by a police bullet. Prosecutors found two police officers acted lawfully when they returned Atkins’ gunfire.
He also faces 50 other counts, including attempted murder.
On July 21, 2018, Atkins had led police on a pursuit after allegedly shooting his grandmother and girlfriend. He crashed the car next to the Trader Joe’s and then opened fire at officers, police said.
Corado, 27, was fatally wounded as she ran toward the store’s entrance upon hearing the car crash.
Atkins took employees and shoppers hostage for three hours before surrendering, authorities said.