A gunman took hostages inside a supermarket in the US city of Los Angeles on Saturday and shot one woman dead before handcuffing himself and surrendering.

Police officers guard a supermarket with a barricaded suspect in Silverlake, Los Angeles, on July 21, 2018. A suspect was barricaded inside a supermarket in the US city of Los Angeles on Saturday, police said, in what US media reported was a possible hostage situation.
Police officers guard a supermarket with a barricaded suspect in Silverlake, Los Angeles, on July 21, 2018. A suspect was barricaded inside a supermarket in the US city of Los Angeles on Saturday, police said, in what US media reported was a possible hostage situation. (AFP)

A Los Angeles supermarket was barricaded after a gunman entered the store and took employees and victims hostage until eventually surrendering himself to the police.

The drama began when the male suspect  become involved in a family dispute and shot his grandmother and girlfriend Saturday in another location, according to Sergeant Barry Montgomery. 

He then "fled the location in his grandmother's vehicle, taking the female victim with him," the Los Angeles police spokesman said. 

The suspect led police on a car chase that ended when he crashed into a pole and ran inside a busy Trader Joe's supermarket. 

Officers spotted the suspect's car near Hollywood and tried to pull him over, but the man refused to stop and led officers on a chase. 

During the chase, the suspect shot "multiple rounds" at officers, though no officers were struck by the gunfire, he said. 

At least one officer is believed to have returned fire, Montgomery said.

There an "additional gun battle" outside the Trader Joe's, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore told reporters.

He took hostages as scores of firefighters and police converged on the scene.

Officers with riot gear, armed with rifles, stood along the side of the Trader Joe's in the Silver Lake area on Saturday afternoon and used mirrors to try to look inside as hostages periodically came out the front door with the hands raised. 

One woman who was injured was taken to the hospital in stable condition, according to David Ortiz, a fire department spokesman, though it was unclear how she was injured. 

Officials said they had 18 ambulances and 100 firefighters staged at the scene.

After about 30 minutes, police came inside and rushed some of the customers out.

People frantically tried to flee from the store and some were seen climbing through windows, jumping down about 8 feet (2.44 meters), and others darted through the back door.

During the shootout, the suspect was wounded in the arm, Mayor Eric Garcetti said, adding that one woman was shot in the store and later declared dead at the scene.

Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, looks on before addressing the press after a suspect barricaded inside a Trader Joe's supermarket in Silverlake, Los Angeles, on July 21, 2018.
Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, looks on before addressing the press after a suspect barricaded inside a Trader Joe's supermarket in Silverlake, Los Angeles, on July 21, 2018. (AFP)

"I regret to inform you that there is one fatality that occurred inside, of a woman," Garcetti said, without identifying the victim.

Inside the store the suspect took "numerous victims, of citizens as well as store employees, hostage," Moore said.

Officers rescued some workers and customers, while the hostage-taker released some himself.

About three hours after the ordeal began, negotiations led to the man "handcuffing himself and coming outside and surrendering to SWAT officers," the police chief said.

The incident injected chaos - and scores of police and fire vehicles - into the busy commercial area of shops and apartment buildings.

Don Kohles was standing outside the store when the suspect's car slammed into a pole.

Just then he heard two shots. He ran into the exit door of the Trader Joe's, looked back at the street and saw two police officers shooting at a man, he said.

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.
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)

"The bullets were flying everywhere -- through the front of the store and across the parking lot," Kohles told the Los Angeles Times.

The gunfire shattered the glass doors, Kohles said, and the gunman ran inside and "down the middle aisle."

US President Donald Trump had earlier tweeted that he was "watching Los Angeles possible hostage situation very closely."

Members of the Los Angeles Fire Department are seen outside a supermarket during a barricaded suspect situation in Silverlake, Los Angeles, on July 21, 2018.
Members of the Los Angeles Fire Department are seen outside a supermarket during a barricaded suspect situation in Silverlake, Los Angeles, on July 21, 2018. (AFP)

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... 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.

A TraderJoe's employee is comforted after a suspect barricaded inside the supermarket in Silverlake, Los Angeles, on July 21, 2018.
A TraderJoe's employee is comforted after a suspect barricaded inside the supermarket in Silverlake, Los Angeles, on July 21, 2018. (AFP)
Source: TRTWorld and agencies