One dead, police arrest shooting suspect who was barricaded inside US supermarket

Police officers and members of the Los Angeles Fire Department escort a woman on a stretcher after a suspect barricaded inside a Trader Joe's supermarket in Silverlake, Los Angeles, on July 21, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 22 July 2018
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One dead, police arrest shooting suspect who was barricaded inside US supermarket

  • The suspect eventually crashed his car outside of the Trader Joe's supermarket and then ran into the store
  • Investigators believe the suspect, whose name hasn't been released, had shot his grandmother and girlfriend

LOS ANGELES: An armed suspect who allegedly shot his grandmother and another person barricaded himself in a supermarket and then shot a woman dead in the US city of Los Angeles before being taken into custody on Saturday, police said.
“A male suspect ... become involved in a family dispute which resulted in him shooting his grandmother and a female at the scene,” police Sergeant Barry Montgomery told journalists.
“That suspect fled the location in his grandmother’s vehicle, taking that female victim with him,” and eventually entered a Trader Joe’s supermarket following an “officer involved shooting,” he said.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said one woman was shot in the store and later declared dead at the site.
“I regret to inform you that there is one fatality that occurred inside, of a woman,” Garcetti said, without further identifying the woman.
The suspect barricaded himself inside the supermarket with an unknown number of people, but was taken into custody “without incident,” according to police.
“We have successfully taken the suspect into custody without incident. The situation remains fluid as officers move forward clearing the location,” the Los Angeles Police Department wrote on its official Twitter account
US President Donald Trump had earlier tweeted that he was “watching Los Angeles possible hostage situation very closely.”
Devin Field, a man who said he was walking into the store when the incident unfolded, described his experience in a series of tweets.
“I was walking in when a car crashed running from the police crashed into street lamp in front of the entrance. Gunman got out and started shooting at the cops. I hid behind a retaining wall with three cops until they had me crawl out,” wrote Field, whose Twitter account identifies him as a writer for the Jimmy Kimmel Live TV show.
“Gunman walked in shooting. He went into the back and took hostages. Employees snuck out through back emergency exits. Employee says blood was all over the floor, unclear from where,” he wrote.


ANALYSIS: Pakistan’s new government unlikely to improve ties with Kabul

Updated 46 min 9 sec ago
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ANALYSIS: Pakistan’s new government unlikely to improve ties with Kabul

  • Analysts says Ghani’s politically and ethnically divided government has neither the ability nor the options to reduce the new wave of tension and mistrust between the two countries
  • Pakistan may resort to putting further pressure on Kabul until a new Afghan government is in place, say experts

KABUL: When Imran Khan won Pakistan’s elections last month, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was one of the first leaders to congratulate him. Ghani issued an official invitation to Khan to visit Kabul in an effort to start a new chapter in the historically uneasy relations between the two neighbors.
The sense of optimism in Kabul followed Khan’s pledge in his victory speech that he wanted a EU-style soft border with Afghanistan despite the fact that he had struck a pro-Taliban stance in the past.
Less than a month on, that sense of optimism seems to have faded following events on the battlefield, particularly a major assault by the Taliban on the city of Ghazni last week.
Local officials allege that Pakistan assisted the Taliban in Ghazni, and Ghani subsequently stated that Taliban soldiers wounded in the attack had been taken to Pakistan for treatment.  All of which reduces the odds of any improvement in relations in the near future.
Analysts have suggested that Ghani’s politically and ethnically divided government, which has suffered a number of successive losses in battle, has neither the ability nor the options to reduce the new wave of tension and mistrust between the two countries.
They predict that, instead, Pakistan may resort to putting further pressure on Kabul until a new Afghan government is in place. Presidential elections are currently slated for April.
“I do not think that these challenges and tensions will decrease until a new government comes to power here,” Ahmad Saeedi, an analyst who served as a diplomat in Pakistan told Arab News. “There will be even tougher times ahead, with militants possibly targeting more major cities and even Kabul.”
Saeedi said that recent talks between the Taliban and US officials may further embolden the Taliban to step up their attacks so they can speak from a position of strength in future talks, something he said Islamabad wants in order to balance India’s growing influence in Afghanistan.
He added that Washington and NATO — both of whom have troops in Afghanistan — may only want to prevent the total collapse of Ghani’s government, but that they do not seem to trust “the government’s weak leadership to have the ability to govern.”
Waheed Mozdah, another analyst, said Afghan officials have no strong evidence to prove Pakistan’s involvement in the Taliban’s victory in Ghazni, which has struck another major blow to Ghani’s administration.
He pointed out, too, that Ghani’s allegations are unlikely to help improve relations with Pakistan. “After Ghani’s allegations, I do not think Imran Khan even will visit Afghanistan,” he said. “Ghani’s comments are not helpful at all. He seems to have turned the new government in Pakistan against him.”
When contacted by Arab News, government spokesman Shah Hussain Murtazawi said Kabul expected these problems to be solved, but did not elaborate on the government’s plans to do so.
During a recent visit to Ghazni, Ghani accused Khan of not honoring his pledge as an ethnic Pashtun and directed the same charge at Pakistan’s army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa.
“Imran Khan, you are the son of Pashtun parents. Investigate this and give me an answer. Gen. Bajwa, you have repeatedly given me assurances over phone calls that special attention would be given to the issue of peace in Afghanistan once elections took place in Pakistan. Now give me an answer,” Ghani said, while addressing a group of tribal elders attending the jirga on Friday.