Shooting suspect in standoff at Los Angeles supermarket

Police said it was not clear whether anyone was still inside the store.

Police officers use a mirror to see inside a Trader Joe’s store in the Silver Lake neighbourhood of Los Angeles (Christian Dunlop via AP)
Police officers use a mirror to see inside a Trader Joe’s store in the Silver Lake neighbourhood of Los Angeles (Christian Dunlop via AP)

A man involved in a standoff with police at a Los Angeles supermarket is suspected of shooting his grandmother and girlfriend earlier in the day, according to officials.

He is said to have led police on a pursuit through the city — at times shooting at officers — before he crashed outside the busy supermarket and ran inside.

A large number of police and rescue personnel swarmed Trader Joe’s in the Silver Lake area on Saturday afternoon. At least one person was injured but is expected to survive.

Police said it was not clear whether there were any employees or others still inside the store.

Investigators believe the suspect, whose name has not been released, shot his grandmother and girlfriend at about 1.30pm in South Los Angeles and then fled in a 2015 Toyota Camry, said Officer Mike Lopez, a Los Angeles police spokesman.

Officers spotted the suspect’s car near Hollywood and tried to pull him over, but the man refused to stop and led officers on a pursuit, Mr Lopez added.

During the chase, the suspect shot “multiple rounds” at officers, though no officers were struck by the gunfire, he said.

The suspect eventually crashed his car outside the Trader Joe’s supermarket and then ran into the store.

The woman who was injured was taken to hospital in a stable condition, according to David Ortiz, a fire department spokesman, although it was unclear how she was injured. Officials said they had 18 ambulances and 100 firefighters at the scene.

A Los Angeles Police Department officer escorts Trader Joe’s employees to the Silver Lake Community Church (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Don Kohles, 91, was walking into the supermarket when he saw a car being chased by police crash into a pole just outside. Police fired at the driver, shattering the store’s glass doors, while those inside the store took cover and laid on the floor as the suspect ran inside, he said.

He could hear others around him sobbing as the man ran towards the back of the store and yelled at people, but Mr Kohles said he did not hear any more gunshots. After about 30 minutes, police came inside and rushed some of the customers out, he said.

Sergeant Barry Montgomery said the situation was still unfolding but that officers were communicating with the suspect.

Officers are “trying to get the suspect to surrender and bring this to a peaceful conclusion,” he said.

Photos posted on social media showed people trying to exit the supermarket through a window and video from television news helicopters showed others leaving through the front door with their hands up.

President Donald Trump tweeted that he was “watching Los Angeles possible hostage situation very closely” and that Los Angeles police officers were working with federal law enforcement.

Press Association

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