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Silver Lake Trader Joe's Shooting Victim's Family Files Lawsuit Against LAPD

Photos of Melyda Corado and family members are displayed during a September press conference. (Mary Plummer/LAist)
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The family of Melyda Corado announced this morning they have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Police Department officers Sinlen Tse and Sarah Winans. The Silver Lake Trader Joe's assistant manager was killed on July 21 when the two officers fired towards a suspect who had run into the store.

The suit was filed by Corado's father and brother, Salvador Albert Corado and Albert Corado. It accuses the defendents of negligence, violation of civil rights, battery, wrongful death, and negligent hiring, training and supervision.

In a statement, lawyers for the Corado family note that they've requested the release of unedited bodycam, dashcam and Trader Joe's surveillance footage from LAPD for "months," and that their requests have been ignored. They add that LAPD has also put a hold on Melyda Corado's autopsy report.

The Corado family is demanding a trial by jury.

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Corado was an innocent bystander during a standoff between officers and 28-year-old Gene Evins Atkins. Atkins had been engaged in a police chase following allegations that he shot his grandmother, then kidnapped a 17-year-old acquaintance. He then allegedly led police from South Los Angeles to Silver Lake, where he crashed his car into a pole near the Trader Joe's.

Atkins proceeded to take cover inside the market, firing at officers as he ran towards the doors.

It was at that time that officers, later identified as Sinlen Tse and Sarah Winans of Hollywood Patrol Division, fired their weapons in Atkins' direction, and fatally struck Corado in the process. Corado had reportedly walked to the front of the store after hearing the crash.

After the shots were fired, Atkins stayed inside the shop, holding more than 40 employees and customers hostage.

Tse is a six-year veteran of the force, and Winans had been a member of the LAPD for one year and eight months at the time of the incident.

Corado's family previously filed damages claims against the LAPD in early October. That complaint accused the LAPD of civil rights violations, excessive force, negligence, failure to properly train officers and conspiracy to cover-up misconduct.


Nov. 28, 3:22 p.m.: This article was updated to include specifics about the lawsuit, and to add the names of the LAPD officers being sued.

This article was originally published at 12:17 p.m. on Nov. 28, 2018.

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