Austin Green

Silver Lake Trader Joe’s Reopens Nearly Two Weeks After Fatal Shootout

Customers and employees returns to the neighborhood store 12 days after a fatal shooting and hostage-taking

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Mekahlo Medina/KNBC-TV

What to Know

  • The Silver Lake Trader Joe's that was the site of a July 21 shootout and hostage crisis will reopen at 8 a.m. Thursday morning.
  • A suspect allegedly took several hostages inside the store after engaging in a gun battle with police that killed store manager Mely Corado.
  • Authorities will update the community about the ongoing investigation in a public meeting at Ivanhoe Elementary Wednesday at 7 p.m.

The last time the Trader Joe's in Silver Lake was open, several employees and customers were taken hostage by an armed suspect and store manager Mely Corado died when she was caught in a shootout between the suspect and police.

On Thursday, 12 days after the tragic incident, the store reopened to the public, an important step toward healing in the surrounding community and moving past the horrific event. Employees will wear tie-dyed shirts in memory of their slain co-worker.

In a statement, Trader Joe's said it remains "heartbroken" over Corado's death and the trauma its employees there have suffered. The company said it made some remodels to the store while allowing those who work there to grieve. 

"Today is a bittersweet day for the Trader Joe's family," said Ben Meyers, executive vice president of stores. "While we remain heartbroken over the loss of Melyda Corado and tragedy that occurred here almost two weeks ago, we recognize that moving forward is important to support the healing of our crew and this community.

"It means so much to us to reopen our doors to this community, which has shown us an overwhelming amount of kindness and support."

A billboard near the store that purchased by Trader Joe's features a message to the community on a plain white background: "We have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity shown to us by our Customers, our neighbors, our friends. We are grateful for this community and all of yor support. Your Silver Lake Trader Joe's."

The store will restart its normal hours at 8 a.m. Thursday, Trader Joe's said.

Corado was struck by a round fired by an LAPD officer during the shootout, which occurred after a man wanted in a South Los Angeles shooting crashed into a pole outside the store at the end of a pursuit. The suspect faces several charges, including murder. 

Meanwhile, Los Angeles police and fire officials will meet with the neighborhood council in Silver Lake at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Ivanhoe Elementary School to provide an update on the investigation.

As employees prepared for the reopening behind paper-covered windows Wednesday, customers told NBC4 they think it is the right time to open the doors and move forward.

"The best thing you can do is not just come back, but come back and rebuild stronger," said customer Bri Sarikcioglu.

Neighbors shared similar sentiments, even as memorials remain in the area. A ribbon hangs on the door of Say Cheese, a neighboring business, in honor of Corado.

"I think it was that feeling and a sense of moving on... the energy people want to get back and move on with their lives--not forgetting her but the feeling of let's move together," said Glen Harrell, the owner of Say Cheese.

However, some remain uneasy about what happened at their neighborhood grocery store less than two weeks ago.

"I think it really makes you nervous," said Trader Joe's customer Karen Pokraka. "Unfortunately, it happened here."

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