LOS ANGELES (CN) – Nearly a year ago, Mary Madison’s grandson shot her in the chest before stealing her car and leading police on a high-speed chase that ended in a shootout in front of a Trader Joe’s market in LA’s Silver Lake neighborhood.
On Monday, Madison, 78, spoke in court recounting the events that led up to the July 2018 shootout in which her grandson Gene Atkins exchanged gunfire with police. During the exchange, Trader Joe’s employee Melyda Corado was fatally struck by an officer’s bullet.
Madison watched bodycam footage on Monday during a conditional witness examination and recounted an argument she had with Atkins at her Los Angeles home shortly before she was shot. In the video, officers found Madison on her bedroom floor.
The officer on the video said, “Just hold on ma’am. Who shot you?”
Madison’s voice, barely audible, said, “Gene. Gene Atkins.”
In court, Atkins watched his grandmother testifying the two of them got into an argument because Atkins should have been out looking for a job. Instead, he was at home with a girl in his bedroom, she said.
She spoke carefully in the video as an officer applied pressure to her gunshot wound and another brought a box fan from near her bed to keep her cool. After she was shot by her grandson, Madison said Atkins asked for her car keys. Madison told officers there was a LoJack tracking device on her car.
Madison survived the shooting but had to undergo physical therapy and surgery in order to walk again. She sat in a wheelchair on Monday as she testified across the room from Atkins, who appeared in handcuffs and a padded jail-issued vest.
Deputy District Attorney Tannaz Mokayef asked Madison if she saw the gun Atkins used to shoot her.
“I heard two shots, but only felt one,” said Madison. “Then I fell on the floor.”
Madison said she feared for her life and told Atkins where her car keys were.
“I didn’t want him to shoot me again. I didn’t know he would shoot me in the first place,” said Madison, who raised Atkins since he was 7 years old.
Shortly after Atkins shot his grandmother, he shot the 17-year-old girl who was with him and took her with him as he led police on a high-speed pursuit.
Atkins was charged with murder in the death of Corado, a Trader Joe’s store manager who was struck by an officer’s bullet during the shootout in front of the store after Atkins crashed his grandmother’s Toyota Camry into a light pole. He then barricaded himself in the market for several hours before surrendering to police.
Madison said when Atkins was around 9 years old he received therapy twice a week for two to three month for anger issues.
Defense attorney Michael Morse asked if Atkins was given medication at the time. Madison said some medication was given to Atkins but she didn’t know what.
“He had a real bad temper at the time,” Madison testified.
In February, Atkins claimed he was a prophet sent by Jesus Christ during a hearing in which he represented himself. Morse was previously assigned to represent Atkins, but was fired and then brought back.
Atkins faces charges of murder, kidnapping, two counts of attempted, willful, deliberate and premeditated attempted murder, four counts of attempted murder of a peace officer and others. His next court appearance is set for August.
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