A man who in a standoff with police inside a Los Angeles supermarket is suspected of shooting his grandmother and girlfriend earlier Saturday and led police on a pursuit through the city — at times shooting at officers — before he crashed outside the busy supermarket and ran inside, officials said.
A large number of police and rescue personnel swarmed the Trader Joe’s in the Silver Lake area Saturday afternoon and at least one person was injured but expected to survive. Police said it wasn’t clear whether there were any employees or others still inside the store.
Investigators believe the suspect, whose name hasn’t been released, had shot his grandmother and girlfriend around 1:30 p.m. in South Los Angeles and then fled in a 2015 Toyota Camry, said Officer Mike Lopez, a Los Angeles police spokesman.
Officers spotted the suspect’s car near Hollywood and tried to pull him over, but the man refused to stop and led officers on a pursuit, Lopez said. During the chase, the suspect shot “multiple rounds” at officers, though no officers were struck by the gunfire, he said.
At least one officer is believed to have returned fire during the pursuit, Lopez said.
The suspect eventually crashed his car outside of the Trader Joe’s supermarket and then ran into the store. An Associated Press employee who lives in the area reported seeing a car crashed into a utility pole outside the store.
The woman who was injured was taken to the hospital in stable condition, according to David Ortiz, a fire department spokesman, though it was unclear how she was injured. Officials said they had 18 ambulances and 100 firefighters staged at the scene.
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.
Sgt. Barry Montgomery said the situation was still unfolding but officers were communicating with the suspect. It wasn’t clear if employees or customers were still inside the store.
Officers are “trying to get the suspect to surrender and bring this to a peaceful conclusion,” he said.
Photos posted on social media showed people trying to exit the supermarket through a window and video from television news helicopters showed others leaving through the front door with their hands up.
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.
Source: Associated Press