The Office of the Los Angeles County District Attorney decided Tuesday against charging two LAPD cops, Sinlen Tse and Sarah Winan, for a Trader Joe’s store manager’s accidental death in 2018.
The manager, then 27-year-old Melyda Maricela Corado, succumbed to one gunshot injury after being hit near the store’s entrance in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake Area, Fox News reported. (REPORT: Police Shoot, Kill Man After Deadly Car Chase In Stolen Police Cruiser)
Before the accident, cops had been chasing an armed suspect, then 28-year-old Gene Evin Atkins, who had fired at his grandmother before fleeing from the LAPD, according to Fox News.
The chase, during which several rounds were exchanged between the suspect and the cops, ended with a gun battle between officers and Atkins near the store after Atkins had crashed the car he was fleeing in nearby, a memorandum published by the District Attorney’s office on November 30 described. During this gunfight, Corado was struck while running to the entrance, “most likely” from Tse’s weapon, the memorandum recorded.
According to further reporting from Fox News, Atkins then began to take several shoppers and workers within the store hostage after the accident, including the hurt Corado, preventing cops from getting her treatment.
“It is our conclusion that the officers acted in lawful self-defense and defense of others and are not criminally responsible for the shootings of Atkins or Corado,” the memorandum stated. It also noted that Corado died due to Atkins’s “provocative act,” therefore, the responsibility for her death falls on him.
However, Corado’s brother’s expressed reservations against the District Attorney’s decision, according to Los Angeles Times. “This is what LAPD does,” Corado’s brother Albert Corado told the newspaper. “They can fire eight shots into a Trader Joe’s and kill someone and they think that’s just how these things played out.”
In a week, a new District Attorney George Gascón, who promised to reexamine law enforcement fatal use-of-force cases dating back to 2012, will take office; whether Corado’s case will be reviewed is unclear, NPR reported.