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After the Silver Lake Trader Joe's shooting, a community tries to recover

Flowers and messages in memoriam line a wall at the Silver Lake Trader Joe's where an assistant manager was killed on July 21, 2018 during a police shootout with a suspect.
Flowers and messages in memoriam line a wall at the Silver Lake Trader Joe's where an assistant manager was killed on July 21, 2018 during a police shootout with a suspect.
Bradley Bermont/KPCC

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On Saturday, a Trader Joe’s assistant manager was killed after a car chase went awry. Returning to the store in Silver Lake Tuesday, it's a somber scene.

The store is boarded up. Flowers take up most of the sidewalk, many sitting in the iconic Trader Joe’s metal buckets. Memorial messages from the community line the wall. Neighbors are still stunned.

“You hear about the unfortunate shootings, but it’s very different when it’s close to home,” said Ia Brown. She owns an eyeglass store a few blocks away and is a daily customer in Trader Joe’s.

She visited the store hours before the shooting. Like others in the neighborhood, she’s shocked that LAPD officers shot at the crowded Trader Joe’s where suspect Gene Atkins fled during a chaotic police shootout.

“I was very afraid. I feared for my life,” said Eddie Hakopyan. He owns a gelato store next to the Trader Joe’s and was sitting outside at the time of the shooting.

He recalls running into his store and hiding in a back closet. Now, he’s holding a fundraiser for Corado’s relatives, setting aside 20 percent from every sale for donations.

“She was a regular at our store,” he said of Corado. “She liked the Sea Salt Caramel.”

And like everyone else, he wants to see life return to normal.

“We take it from there – one step at a time.”

There was no immediate indication when the Trader Joe’s might reopen.