Gunman had been fired by Walmart
RED BLUFF, Tehama County — A man who drove into a Walmart distribution center in Northern California and went on a shooting rampage that left him and another man dead, and four others wounded, was fired from his job at the center last year, authorities said.
Louis Wesley Lane, 31, was let go from the distribution center near Red Bluff in February 2019 after failing to show up for work, Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said at a news conference Sunday.
The violence started Saturday afternoon when a man with a semiautomatic rifle circled the parking lot four times before crashing into the building and starting to shoot. A fire also erupted at the site.
After the shooting, Lane engaged with Red Bluff police officers in the parking lot, where they exchanged 20 to 30 rounds, Johnston said. Lane was shot by police and pronounced dead at a hospital.
The employee who died was Martin HaroLozano, 45, of Orland (Glenn County). He was taken to a hospital by a sheriff ’s deputy, but later died. His relationship to the shooter, if any, was not immediately known.
The wounded victims were taken to St. Elizabeth Community Hospital and their injuries were not lifethreatening, Johnston said. Another victim was struck by the shooter’s car as he drove into the building and was being treated at the hospital, he said.
Investigators have not determined a motive for the shooting, other than his prior employment at the center, Johnston said.
During the attack, some of the 200 workers inside the facility locked themselves in a room, employees told KHSLTV.
Scott Thammakhanty, an employee at the facility’s receiving center, told the Redding RecordSearchlight that he heard the shooter fire. He and other employees then immediately fled.
Fellow employee Franklin Lister told the New York Times he had just begun his shift when a coworker ran through a hallway warning of an active shooter.
Vince Krick told the Recordsearchlight that his wife and son work at the facility and he was on his way to pick up his wife when he saw flames from the fire. Neither was hurt, but his wife told him not to come to the front entrance, the newspaper reported.
“It was real crazy, because, you know, you can’t do nothing,” Krick said.
Walmart spokesman Scott Pope told the Recordsearchlight that the company was “aware of the situation” and working with law enforcement.