The 48 Hours Live to Tell episode “Standoff at Trader Joe’s” features interviews with some of the hostages who were held captive by a gunman inside a Trader Joe’s supermarket in Silver Lake, California on July 21, 2018. (One person, Melyda Corado, a Trader Joe’s employee, was killed during the incident at the store.) Prior to the standoff, the 28-year-old gunman Gene Evin Atkins shot his 76-year-old grandmother seven times, allegedly kidnapped his 17-year-old girlfriend and led police on a high-speed car chase throughout Los Angeles. From the store, Atkins eventually surrendered to police. He is now facing 51 charges including one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder. His bail was set at $23 million.
In December 2018, in court, when a judge asked Atkins if he was pleading guilty or not guilty, he said, “I’m pleading insanity.” In response, the judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf although Atkins was found competent to represent himself at trial. When he returned to court on February 15, one day prior to the airing of the 48 Hours episode, Atkins told the judge “I was sent here by Jesus” and he claims to be a “prophet.” Deputy District Attorney Tannaz Mokayef isn’t buying it. She told the judge, “What you’re witnessing here today is an act” to delay the proceedings. 48 Hours airs Saturdays at 10 pm on CBS. [Watch It Again: Stream any CBS show through Amazon Prime or CBS ALL-ACCESS. Both options offer free trials.]