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DA: Shootout between Red Bluff police & Walmart Distribution Center gunman deemed lawful, justified

The Tehama County District Attorney says a 2020 police shooting that killed a gunman at the Walmart distribution center in Red Bluff was "lawful."

Posted: Apr 14, 2021 8:37 AM
Updated: Apr 14, 2021 8:47 AM

RED BLUFF, Calif. - The Tehama County District Attorney said a 2020 police shooting that killed a gunman at the Walmart Distribution Center in Red Bluff was justified and lawful.

District Attorney, Matthew Rogers made the announcement on Tuesday based on a thorough investigation.

"This conclusion would seem obvious based on the facts and circumstances of this incident," Rogers in a video posted to Twitter Tuesday. "But regardless of how clear-cut this incident may be, the duty of the DA is to review officer-involved shootings in order to determine their lawfulness of the use of lethal force by law enforcement. The duty of the DA is not to simply clear involved officers in their use of force."

Back in late June, law enforcement responded to a shooting at the Walmart Distribution Center on Highway 99 W south of Red Bluff.

The shooter was identified as 31-year-old Louis Lane.

Rogers said Lane drove to the center. When he arrived he apparently circled the parking lot several times before slamming his car into a building.

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Lane then got out of the car, grabbed an assault rifle, and started shooting at employees.

Rogers said it was clear that Lane decided to arrive at around 3:30 p.m. due to a shift change so he could have more people as targets.

The shooting by Lane left several people injured and killed one employee.

At one point, Lane returned to the parking lot and set his car on fire.

Lane then "continued to wander the parking lot, clearly disappointed that employees had quickly fled the area," Rogers said.

It all came to an end when Lane was involved in a shoot-out with two Red Bluff Police officers. One of the officers fired a shot at Lane that eventually killed him.

Through a separate investigation, authorities learned Lane had worked at the Red Bluff area Walmart Distribution Center in February 2019 but had been released from employment due to failing to show for his shift.

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