When a bystander dies in a police shootout the death is always wrongful. Investigation into the cause of death will determine where the responsibility should rest, hence, who should be held accountable. On July 21, 2018, Melyda Corado, the assistant store manager at Silver Lake Trader Joe's went to work as she did any other day, she did not expect the faithful day to be her last day in this world nor did her family. A gun battle? What for? To arrest the suspect, the criminal? Was there anything else that could have been done? Lie in wait until the suspect handcuffs himself and peacefully walks out of the store - as he did eventually. Was the gun battle helpful or hasteful? Would Melyda Corado be alive today had the chasing police officers not returned fire? These and more are questions that will hunt the family of Melyda Corado for the foreseeable future.
Melyda Corada was hit inside the store as she was attempting to exit the store. It may very well be determined, by an independent evaluation, that the police officers' actions were lawful and that even if Melyda Corado's death was caused by a stray bullet fired by the police, the death was an acceptable collateral casualty, and thus not actionable criminally in a court of law against the police. However, if the evidence is otherwise, for example the police officers were told not to shoot at the suspect and not return fire, and they ignored the order, or that the suspect was running inside the Trader Joe's and not shooting at the police, and the police officers shot at him when they should not have, given the fact there were a lot of bystanders close by and thus it was clearly foreseeable that someone could get hurt, etc., then the services of a wrongful death attorney who could file a civil action for wrongful death against the police, armed with independent experts' evaluation and testimony could bring about some sense of justice for the decedent's family and moreover, be an incentive to police to further improve and enhance their procedures as it relate to shooting at a fleeing suspect in populated areas.
Update to this article: On July 24, 2018, LAPD Chief of Police Michel Moore Confirmed Melyda Corado Was Killed by a Police Officer's Bullet: "I'm sorry to report that we've now determined through our forensic investigation that one of the officers' rounds struck Ms. Corado as she was exiting the market and was in proximity to Atkins," LAPD Police Chief Michel Moore said at a news conference. LAPD also released the dash cam and body cam videos of the police.
Police Officers Were Told "Do not, do not shoot."
Police released dash cam video footage appears to indicate that the officers were told "Do not, do not shoot." See below screen capture from the LAPD released video.
Melyda Corado's brother Alpert Corado, Tweeted:
"I'm sad to say she didn't make it. My baby sister. My world. I appreciate the retweets and the love," "Please respect my family's privacy as we are still coming to terms with this." July 21, 2018
In 2013 two women delivering newspapers were mistakenly sprayed with 103 rounds by LAPD officers.
The 8 officers responsible for the shooting were found to have violated department policy, but were allowed to stay in the force, because the authorities believed that additional training were adequate to address the issue. The incident occurred during a man hunt for the ex-cop Christopher Dorn.
The two women, Margie Carranza, then 47, and her mother Emma Hernandez, then 71, who was shot in the back, did survive. The women received a $4.2 million settlement from the city of Los Angeles.