Gun­man had been fired by Wal­mart

San Francisco Chronicle - - NATION -

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.

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