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Man Kills 4 in Shotgun Rampage

TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Armed with a pump-action shotgun and wearing camouflage, an ex-Marine walked through a local supermarket before dawn Thursday, randomly firing at clerks and customers, killing four employees and critically wounding a fifth, police said.

Zane Floyd, 23, a part-time bouncer at a local sports bar, was arrested in the parking lot after police persuaded him not to take his own life, authorities said.

Investigators were baffled at the motive for the shooting, which occurred shortly after 5 a.m. at an Albertson’s on Sahara Avenue about 1 1/2 miles west of the Strip.

“There is no apparent link between this suspect and Albertson’s or any of its employees,” said Clark County Sheriff Jerry Keller. “We have established no connection.”

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Las Vegas Metro police were alerted to the shooting when an employee called, thinking a robbery was in progress.

As officers arrived, the suspect was walking out a front door, only to retreat inside when he saw the unit. Soon afterward, he emerged through another front door, police said, and put a 12-gauge shotgun to his head.

Officers attempted to talk him out of pulling the trigger and, after eight minutes, he surrendered.

Floyd, honorably discharged from the Marine Corps last summer, has been charged with four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, authorities said.

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There were 14 employees in the store and about 11 customers when the rampage began. Police said the shaven-headed suspect shot the first employee he encountered and then began walking randomly through the supermarket, firing at anyone he saw. He reloaded his weapon at least once.

The five victims, whose identities police did not immediately release, were all shot at close range.

“I’ve been a cop for 30 years and I live just three blocks from here,” Keller said. “I have never seen anything like this. This shakes us all to the core of our shoes.”

Employees scurried for cover when the shooting broke out, and two women who hid in a produce cooler didn’t come out until nearly three hours later.

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Like police, an Albertson’s spokesman said the company knew of no link with Floyd, who was neither a current nor a former employee of the Idaho-based supermarket chain.

“To the best of our knowledge, there’s no connection,” said Michael Read, Albertson’s vice president of public affairs. “Frankly, we’re perplexed. There’s no apparent motive.

“Obviously, this came as a horrifying shock,” he added. “Everyone here at the general office is deeply saddened and concerned.”

The company has sent a crisis intervention team to counsel employees and customers, along with the staffs of other Albertson’s in the Las Vegas area.

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Read said that until authorities released the identities of the victims, he could not discuss them. The dead included three men and a woman. A critically wounded man, also an employee, was taken to a local hospital.

Last stationed at Camp Pendleton, Floyd left the Marines as a lance corporal in July after four years of service. He started college but dropped out, a neighbor said.

For the past five weeks he had been working part-time at Sneakers All American Restaurant and Lounge, a local sports bar, checking identification at the door. His boss and co-workers said he was well-liked.

“He has been a good employee and was very popular with the staff,” Sneakers manager Tom Smith said. “He seemed like a nice guy. We didn’t have any problems with him at all.”

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Fellow Sneakers bouncer Tony Marquez told the Associated Press that Floyd was a “regular 23-year-old guy who likes to party and hang out just like me. I don’t understand what happened.”

Last weekend, Floyd moved from an apartment into a guest house behind his parents’ home two blocks from the supermarket, friends told the Associated Press.

“They did everything they could for him. He didn’t want for anything,” neighbor Cathy Downey said of Floyd’s parents.

The elder Floyd works for a government contractor in Las Vegas. His boss, who declined to give his full name, said he was trying to help console the family.

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“They’re in shock. They want to know how this happened. Their thoughts are with the victims,” he said.

Times staff writer Rainey reported from Las Vegas and Boxall from Los Angeles. Times staff writer Tony Perry and the Associated Press contributed to this story.


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