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LAPD says Trader Joe’s employee was killed by officer’s bullet. When is it appropriate for police to open fire?




Police officers and members of the Los Angeles Fire Department escort a woman on a stretcher after a suspect barricaded inside a Trader Joe's supermarket in Silverlake, Los Angeles, on July 21, 2018.
Police officers and members of the Los Angeles Fire Department escort a woman on a stretcher after a suspect barricaded inside a Trader Joe's supermarket in Silverlake, Los Angeles, on July 21, 2018.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

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A store worker killed in a gunbattle before a suspect took hostages in a crowded supermarket was hit by a police officer's bullet, Police Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday.

The employee, Melyda Corado, 27, was leaving the store Saturday as the suspect, Gene Evin Atkins, 28, was going into the store after firing two rounds officers pursuing him, Moore told reporters. The two officers each fired back at Atkins and one of their rounds went through one of Corado's arms and into her body.

In deciding whether to open fire, the officers had to consider whether the suspect in what was already a long-running series of violent events would become an active shooter in a market crowded with weekend shoppers, Moore said.

So how would a police officer decide when and whether to open fire? Did the situation at Trader Joe’s necessitate the response? We discuss the tactical considerations involved.

With files from the Associated Press

With guest host Libby Denkmann

Guests:

Annie Gilbertson, investigative reporter who covers the criminal justice system in LA 

Thomas Aveni, executive director and co-founder, The Police Policy Studies Council, a law enforcement consultant firm based in New Hampshire; former law enforcement officer in New Jersey, Utah, and New Hampshire

John Curnutt, assistant director, The Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center, which specializes on training for active shooter situations at Texas State University based in San Marcos, TX; former law enforcement officer with a municipal police department in Central Texas