Silver Lake Trader Joe's shooting: Family seeks justice 5 years later

Five years after an officer-involved shooting left an innocent bystander dead at a Trader Joe's in Silver Lake, her family is still demanding justice.

Friday marked five years since Melyda Corado was shot and killed, caught in the crossfire between Los Angeles Police Department officers and a shooting suspect.

On Saturday, her family and supporters gathered in Echo Park to celebrate Corado's life and demand justice for her death.

"She was my best friend," said Albert Corado Jr. "If anyone here talks to me at length about my life, you know she was a gigantic part of it. She was three years younger than I was, so we were very, very close.

On July 21, 2018, the LAPD chased a man who'd allegedly shot his grandmother and girlfriend from South Los Angeles to the Silver Lake Trader Joe's, where Mely Corado worked. There, Gene Evin Atkins held up the store for several hours before ultimately surrendering to an LAPD SWAT Team.


During the standoff, Corado was struck and killed by what was later learned to be the bullet from and LAPD officer's gun that was fired into the store. Originally it was believed that Atkins shot Corado. 

Though he didn't shoot Corado, Atkins has been charged with her murder. Under state law, Atkins was ruled responsible for Corado's death, under the theory that his actions earlier in the day caused the chain of events that led to Corado's death.

Atkins has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity to a litany of charges, including Corado's murder and the attempted murder of his grandmother, among others. In May 2021, Atkins was ruled competent enough to stand trial.

Back in 2020, Corado's brother told FOX 11 that the family believes the LAPD is using Atkins as a scapegoat, to make themselves out as "the good guys."

The Corado family has sued the department, and said they're still waiting on information about the investigation.

"If they find him guilty of my sister's murder which is what they're trying to prove, then that makes our case look a little weaker," said Albert Corado Jr. 

Corado's father Albert Corado Sr. said he just wants justice. "Not only for me but for everybody. Can I get my daughter back? Because I'd rather get my daughter than a bunch of money."

On Saturday, the LAPD recognized the fifth anniversary of the fatal shooting, sending condolences to Corado's family. In a statement the department said that it recognizes "the tremendous loss suffered by the Corado family and their friends."

The statement also added that the Board of Police Commissioners and Office of the Inspector General reviewed the case, and found the shooting was "within department policy, albeit tragic."