Woman killed as gunman barricades himself inside Los Angeles supermarket

Rob Crilly
Police officers guard a supermarket with a barricaded suspect in Silverlake, Los Angeles - AFP

  • Police arrest teenage suspect after stand-off
  • Car crashed outside Trader Joe's store
  • Witnesses say suspect opened fire before running inside supermarket
  • One woman killed inside store

Los Angeles police arrested a suspect on Saturday evening after a gunman barricaded himself inside a supermarket, sending shoppers fleeing in terror and leaving one woman dead. 

Armed officers in body armour surrounded the store using mirrors to glimpse inside and help people to safety. 

"We have successfully taken the suspect into custody without incident," said Los Angeles police on Twitter, ending an hours long stand-off.

The suspect handcuffed himself and walked out with hostages before surrendering to police.

Police officers on the scene Credit: Robyn Beck/AFP

One woman was killed inside the supermarket, according to Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Mayor.

It began when a suspect being chased by police after an earlier shooting crashed his vehicle before running into a Trade Joe's store in the Silverlake neighbourhood.

Police said the 28-year-old was suspected of shooting his grandmother and a second woman in a family dispute, before taking off with the woman in his grandmother's car.

TV footage showed police officers helping customers climb out of the windows of the supermarket as they surrounded the entrance.

"We can confirm that there is an active barricaded suspect within a Trader Joe's in  Silverlake," the Los Angeles Police Department wrote on its official Twitter account.

Donald Trump, who is staying at his New Jersey golf club, said he was monitoring the unfolding incident.

Swat teams took up positions around the store while snipers were spotted on nearby rooftops.

Margaret Stewart, a Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman, said a 20-year-old woman had been taken to a hospital in fair condition. She was taken from a vehicle, rather than the inside of the store, she told CNN.

 

2:43AM

LAPD confirms suspect now in custody

 

2:36AM

Man in handcuffs

Overhead TV footage shows an African-American in handcuffs being taken out of the store. Is it all over?

2:36AM

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2:25AM

Supermarket staff comfort each other

Trader Joe's staff comfort each other Credit: Robyn Beck/AFP

 

2:20AM

Suspect 'shot his grandmother'

Police have offered more detail, saying the suspect is a teenager. He shot his grandmother and a woman before taking off in his grandmother's car with the wounded female companion, said an officer during a media briefing.

1:59AM

Police say guman believed to be involved in earlier shooting

The LAPD has said that the suspect is a male adult, and was being pursued after an earlier shooting, in which an elderly woman and a woman in her 20s were hurt. They characterised it as a family dispute.

1:50AM

Donald Trump is monitoring

 The president is at his New Jersey golf club tonight.

1:48AM

Suspect was 'shooting as he came around corner'

"I’ve never seen so many police in my life," witness Derek Anthony, who has lived in the neighborhood for 15 years, told NBC 4.

He added that he saw the end of the car chase.

"The car had heavy damage, had flat tyres and (the suspect) was still careening around the corner with all the police behind him, and he was shooting his gun as he came around the corner."

1:43AM

Police don't know how many people inside

An LAPD officer has just given a very brief briefing.

"We know we have people inside," he said. "We don't know how many."

He added that officers hope to bring the incident to a peaceful conclusion.

"He is barricaded and we can't get in there right now," he said.

A Fire Department spokesman also confirmed that one casualty has been taken to hospital.

1:41AM

'Active barricaded suspect'

James Gagliano, CNN law enforcement analyst, says the police choice of language may mean there are no hostages. Describing the suspect as a "barricaded suspect" suggests he is alone, he said.

1:34AM

Trader Joe's

Location of the Silverlake Trader Joe's

 Trader Joe's is a nationwide grocery chain, known for its own-brand products and wide selection of fresh produce.

1:26AM

Casualty taken to hospital

Margaret Stewart, Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman, said a 20-year-old woman had been taken to a hospital in fair condition. She was taken from a vehicle, rather than the inside of the store, she told CNN.

"We are on standby and prepared to support but no confirmation how many patients may be inside," she added.

1:16AM

Possible hostages inside

Local media are reporting that dozens of people remain unaccounted for. Some may have managed to flee but there could be multiple hostages inside.

The suspect is believed to be in contact with police negotiators.

1:15AM

Shopper got caught in incident

Dan Zito was just leaving the store with his shopping when he found himself just yards away from the suspect's car as it crashed.

"(The suspect) jumped out of the car and it looked like he shot some rounds off when he got out of the car," he told NBC 4, a local TV channel. "And (the police) returned some fire at him, but he ran straight in."

1:11AM

Suspect 'barricaded inside'

 

1:06AM

Police describe 'fluid' situation

 

1:01AM

Snipers take up position

Overhead footage from news helicopters shows what appear to be police snipers taking up positions on nearby roofs.

 

12:55AM

Tactical teams arrive

TV pictures showed armed police sealing off the entrances to the store. There are now reports of more heavily armed officers and Swat teams arriving on the scene.

12:54AM

Children rescued

 

12:51AM

Witness saw gunman open fire

Devin Field has the best details so far about what is going on.

However, he is careful to say that he is a little distance from the store now and is piecing details together from other witnesses and police officers.