A shooting on Saturday by a former employee at a Walmart distribution center in Red Bluff, Calif., left an employee dead and several others injured, the authorities said.
Four other people were in fair condition, according to Allison Hendrickson, a spokeswoman for St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Red Bluff, a rural area about 130 miles north of Sacramento.
Police officers killed the shooter, a 31-year-old man, said Lt. Yvette Borden, a spokeswoman for the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office. The man was a Walmart employee until a year and a half ago, she said.
A Walmart employee, Franklin Lister, 51, said he and a group of other employees had just clocked into their afternoon shifts when an employee ran down the hallway shouting: “Active gunfire! Active shooter!”
Mr. Lister said he had seen blood dripping from his colleague’s arm.
“That’s when I realized it wasn’t a drill,” he said.
Mr. Lister and his co-workers ran out the nearest fire exit.
As they were running, he said, they heard 50 to 60 gunshots — at which point they picked up their speed and helped each other over a barbed-wire fence.
When Mr. Lister looked back at the building, he saw that a white vehicle had rammed into an entrance, he said. The glass that had shattered from the crash caused his colleague’s arm to bleed, he said.
“To hear that much gunfire, it was frantic,” said Mr. Lister, who unloads deliveries that are then repackaged and shipped to Walmart stores. “People were running as fast as they could move.”
Walmart employees said a man drove around the facility’s parking lot four times around 3:30 p.m. local time, Lieutenant Borden said. The man crashed into the building and started firing with a semiautomatic rifle, she said.
Minutes later, an officer arrived and exchanged gunfire with the gunman.
“I’m told it was quite a bit of gunfire,” she said.
Another officer arrived on scene shortly after, and the gunman was shot at 3:48 p.m. The authorities did not publicly identify the man, saying they had not yet been able to reach next of kin.
Lieutenant Borden identified the victim as Martin Haro-Lozano, a Walmart employee.
She said the sheriff’s office had not yet identified a motive for the shooting. She said Walmart shooting was not connected to one earlier in the day in Shingleton, Calif., in which three people were killed.
A Walmart employee, Scott Thammakhanty, told The Record Searchlight, a newspaper in Redding, Calif., that he had heard gunshots and had seen people on the ground as he and other employees ran. He said that the gunman looked familiar but that he did not know his identity.
A number of employees barricaded themselves in the back of the distribution center, according to police radio transmissions at the time.
Scott Pope, a Walmart spokesman, said the company was deeply saddened by the incident.
“Our focus is on supporting our associates, as well as their families and co-workers in the facility,” he said in a statement. “This is an active police investigation and we will continue to work with Tehama County Sheriff’s Office and assist in their investigation in any way possible.”
Lacie Miller, the 37-year-old assistant manager of a nearby convenience store, said employees who had gathered outside of the building said that the vehicle crash had caused a fire at the distribution center.
This is the second workplace-related shooting in two days to result in multiple deaths.
Two workers at a coffee dispenser warehouse in Springfield, Ill., were fatally shot on Friday after a co-worker opened fire, the authorities said. Another worker was critically wounded. The gunman fled and was found in his vehicle more than two hours later, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the authorities said.