Retailers

Walmart, ‘Heartbroken’ After Warehouse Shooting, Lauds Workers for Saving Lives

Incident at a California distribution center could have been worse, U.S. CEO John Furner says in memo
Photograph courtesy of Walmart

Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner said the company was “shocked and heartbroken” following a shooting incident over the weekend at a Northern California warehouse that left two dead and four injured.

The shooter, identified in published reports as a former employee of the Red Bluff, Calif., distribution center, was among the deceased. The other was Martin Haro-Lozano, a 12-year associate with family and friends working in the same facility, Furner said. Other victims are now recovering from injuries.

The incident marks at least the 14th active-shooter event at food retail stores since 2007, including seven that have taken place at Walmart facilities. The last, in El Paso, Texas, last summer, prompted the company to take aggressive new measures to restrict gun and ammunition sales in-stores.

In a June 28 memo to workers published online, Furner said the company was “incredibly thankful to the associates in the building who acted heroically to prevent the situation from being even worse. They risked their lives to help their fellow associates, and we are forever grateful to them.”

Walmart said it was working with the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office to assist its investigation. “The facility is now closed, and we will support associates with pay and on-site help,” Furner said.

“This is a deeply painful moment—not only for the Red Bluff facility but for the entire Walmart family. Our hearts go out to everyone who was affected by what occurred yesterday. You have our deepest sympathies and our full support,” Furner said.

The Red Bluff distribution center opened in 1994. It is notable for being the company’s first facility to draw a portion of its electric power from a wind turbine, which was installed at the site in 2012.

Local reports identified the shooter as Louis Lane, a 31-year-old former worker at the facility who was fired in February 2019. According to a sheriff’s account, Lane rammed his vehicle into the building during a shift change and came out firing a weapon. He was killed in an exchange of gunfire with local police minutes later.

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