News Two dead in northern California distribution centre shooting

Two dead in northern California distribution centre shooting

Deputies and firefighters outside the Red Bluff Walmart distribution centre. Photo: Damon Arthur via AP
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

A man has driven into a northern California distribution centre and started shooting at people, killing an employee and wounding four others before he was killed by police, authorities said.

The shooting by a 31-year-old man with a semi-automatic rifle started about 3.30pm at the Walmart distribution centre south of Red Bluff, a city of about 14,000 people about 210 kilometres north of Sacramento, California.

Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said at a news conference that the shooter circled the parking lot four times before crashing into the building and opening fire with the rifle.

Red Bluff Police officers shot and killed the suspect, KHSL-TV reported.

The employee who died was Martin Haro-Lozano, 45, of Orland, California, Assistant Sheriff Johnston said.

Officials did not identify the shooter, but the Assistant Sheriff said the shooter has a history with the Red Bluff workplace.

The shooting victims were taken to St Elizabeth Community Hospital at Red Bluff, spokeswoman Allison Hendrickson told The Associated Press.

She confirmed that four were hospitalised, but declined to provide more details.

Some of the 200 workers inside the facility locked themselves in a room, employees told KHSL-TV.

The suspect was shot in the chest about 3:45 pm, dispatchers told the newspaper.

Scott Thammakhanty, an employee at the facility’s receiving centre, told the Redding Record-Searchlight he heard the shooter fire from the rifle.

“It went on and on – I don’t even know how many times he fired,” Mr Thammakhanty said.

“I just know it was a lot.”

Mr Thammakhanty and others started running for their lives, and he saw people lying on the ground as he went, he said.

Fellow employee Franklin Lister told the New York Times he had just started work when a co-worker ran down the hallway shouting: “Active gunfire! Active shooter!”

Vince Krick told the Record-Searchlight that his wife and son work at the facility and he was on his way to pick up his wife when he saw the flames.

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,” Mr Krick said.

Dispatchers told the Record-Searchlight that at least one woman had been shot.

A man had also reported his leg being run over when the shooter rammed a vehicle into the building, but the man wasn’t sure if he had been shot, dispatchers said.

Walmart spokesman Scott Pope told the Record-Searchlight that the company was “aware of the situation” and working with law enforcement.