After 10 days of the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Tehama County being closed due to the shooting rampage of a former employee, it reopened its doors to normal business operations on Tuesday, July 7.
The Center’s parking lot, on Highway 99W, is once again full of vehicles belonging to employees returning to work following the deadly incident of Louis Lane, 31, of Redding ramming his vehicle into the facility’s lobby, then shooting and killing employee Martin Haro-Lozano, before being gunned down himself by law enforcement.
Those entering the parking lot are now met by hired security force personnel from Brosnon Risk Consultant, Inc., out of New York, at both entrances to the parking lot.
Haro-Lozano, 45, of Orland, the father of two, was reportedly waiting outside the Center for his wife, also an employee of the company when he was shot by Lane.
Tehama County Sheriff’s Assist. Sheriff Phil Johnston said Lane was employed at the Center in February 2019.
“He worked for two weeks and then failed to show for a shift and was released from employment,” he added. “That is the only connection we have between the Distribution Center and the suspect at this time.”
It appears Lane came to the Center in a white SUV around 3:30 p.m., and according to video surveillance circled the parking lot at the main entrance four times and then rammed the vehicle into the front lobby. The vehicle caught fire, but it is unknown if the fire was caused by the collision or if it was caused by Lane.
“He (Louis Lane) hit a pedestrian with his vehicle as he was driving around the parking lot,” Johnston said. “That person was transported to the hospital.”
After ramming the vehicle into the Center’s main lobby, Lane reportedly exited the vehicle with a semi-auto rifle.
Johnston said the gun was a semi-auto firearm with the capability to shoot more than the legal amount of rounds.
At some point Lane attempted to enter the building with the firearm and started shooting at random.
It appears Lane went back out the opening created by his SUV and into the parking lot where he was met by Haro-Lozano.
Lane allegedly shot Haro-Lozano, who went down in front of the office.
Bobby McFarlin, who had escaped out a side door of the Center, said he heard the shots outside and ran towards the noise.
“I peeked around the corner and saw the man who had been shot down on the ground. The shooter (Lane) was walking away into the parking lot, either his gun jammed or he was reloading it, and this gave me time to run to the injured man and try to help him. He was shot in the side going into his chest I believe,” he added.
Another man, Joseph Donaldson, joined McFarlin in trying to help Haro-Lozano, McFarlin using his shirt to try and stop the bleeding and Donaldson trying to give CPR.
At 3:35 p.m., the first of two Red Bluff police officers arrived and exchanged gunfire with Lane. The second officer arrived within a minute and joined in the shootout in the parking lot, Johnston said.
“During the exchange of gunfire with the officers, Lane went down,” he added. “He as transported to a local hospital for surgery. We received notice that he died at the hospital.”
McFarlin said, as this was taking place a Tehama County sheriff’s deputy pulled up to where Haro-Lozano lay.
“With help from the deputy we placed him into the patrol vehicle and the deputy transported the man to the hospital,” he added.
Johnston said Haro-Lozano was pronounced dead by hospital personnel.
Within minutes the Center’s parking lot was swarming with armed law enforcement officers from the California Highway Patrol, Corning and Red Bluff police departments, Tehama County Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations, and Probation Department, and state Fish and Wildlife officers.
Johnston said, to his understanding, the fatalities included Lane and Haro-Lozano. Injured by bullets was Donaldson, who was treated and released from the hospital. Four other victims were treated, some for emotional trauma, as well as the person struck by Lane’s vehicle in the parking lot.
Johnston said the sheriff’s department is still trying to determine a motivation behind Lane’s deadly actions.
The incident is still under investigation by a number of law enforcement agencies.
Calls and or respondence to the Wal-Mart Corporate Office in Bentonville, Ark., were not returned by press time.