SILVER LAKE, Calif. -- (KTLA) -- The family of a man accused of leading police on a chase and deadly shootout outside a Silver Lake Trader Joe's, before taking dozens of people in the store hostage, spoke out on Sunday.
According to police, 28-year-old Gene Atkins took more than 40 customers and employees hostage at the grocery store on Hyperion Avenue on Saturday afternoon. Police would later confirm a store manager died in the shootout with police, while Atkin's grandmother was initially left in critical condition and seven other people — including him — suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
It all unfolded after Atkins allegedly led police on a pursuit that started in South L.A. and ended at the Trader Joe's store less than 10 miles north.
The events that led to that chase came as a shock to Atkins' family, as they told KTLA a day later.
"I really just don’t even know what to say because it’s like, this just happened yesterday," said Atkins' cousin, Charleo Egland. "I can’t believe he did it."