The Terrifying Inside Story Of The Trader Joe’s Hostage Siege

On July 21, 2018, a man crashed his car into a pole outside Trader Joe’s on Hyperion Avenue in Los Angeles, jumped out, ran across the parking lot, took aim with his pistol and fired a few rounds at the police officers pursuing him. They fired back, and he fired back. Bullets flew back and forth across the lot. The man ran inside the store. The police fired more shots and the doors consequently shattered. Staff and customers threw themselves to the ground…

So began a terrifying hostage situation that could almost have been dreamed up by a Hollywood screenwriter. In fact, real-life hostage dramas are relatively rare but not so rare that SWAT teams aren’t ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice. Before long, Trader Joe’s was surrounded by tactical units, police cars, ambulances and other crisis personnel.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT