The suspect that caused a police pursuit and standoff at a Silver Lake Trader Joe’s has been charged with the murder of Melyda Corado, despite authorities confirming she was shot by officers.
Officers Sinlen Tse and Sarah Winans were named in a press release statement on Friday, July 27 as two officers that were involved in the gunfire on Saturday, July 21.
The suspect, Gene Atkins, 28, ran into the store while shooting at the officers.
As the officers shot back at him, they sought cover just behind a north wall near the parking lot.
Soon after, the 27-year-old assistant store manager left the store and was shot. She died at the scene.
Several vigils have been held for Corado at the store, and the family held a funeral service for her on Sunday, July 29 at Forest Hills Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills.
A donation page was set up in her memory for her family, and it had raised over $41,000 in eight days. That is eight times the original $5,000 goal.
The family also released a statement to thank the community:
“On behalf of the Corado family, we would like to thank family, friends, our Trader Joe’s family, the Silver Lake community, and people all over the nation for their overwhelming love and support during this immensely difficult time.”
Atkins, the man who engaged in a gunfight with officers, faces 30 charges.
One count murder, six counts of attempted murder, 13 counts of false imprisonment of hostages, and one count of felony evading.
He can be charged with murder under the “provocative act theory of murder” which would hold him accountable for setting into motion a dangerous situation that police had to respond to.
“It holds criminals accountable, because they do not need to actually pull the trigger to be guilty of murder,” Shasta County Deputy District Attorney Rachel Donahou wrote in a newsletter to explain the act.
The California Supreme Court upheld this decision when it said in 2009 that murder liability “can be established in a provocative act murder case.”
Atkins was originally held on a $2 million bail, but that amount is now $18.7 million. His arraignment is postponed until Aug. 14.