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Worker shot 3 managers to 'get even and embarrass Wal-Mart,' jurors told

October 28, 2011 |  6:00 am

Last year, a disgruntled Wal-Mart employee allegedly crept into the Reno store where he worked carrying two guns and a thirst for revenge.

John Gillane bought a box of .44-caliber bullets. Then, police say, he shot and wounded three managers, one of whom had given him a bad work evaluation.

The threat subsided only after Gillane, now 46, spoke for hours with Reno Police Officer Patrick O’Bryan, according to testimony in Gillane's trial, which is expected to last another week.

Gillane, who is charged with attempted murder and other felonies, has admitted shooting the managers but denied that he wanted to kill them, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.  He has pleaded not guilty.

O’Bryan, who recently retired, helped start a Reno police program that pairs cops with mental health counselors in hopes of steering the mentally ill to services. (You can read a Times story about the program here.) Weeks before the Wal-Mart shooting, O’Bryan had met Gillane when the suicidal man was holed up in a motel room with a gun, the Gazette-Journal said.

After shooting the three Wal-Mart managers, police say, Gillane retreated to an office for some time. The phone rang. Gillane answered. 

Gillane, a nine-year Wal-Mart employee, was broke, anxious and depressed. Over two hours, he told O’Bryan that he wanted to “get even and embarrass Wal-Mart,” O’Bryan testified, according to the Reno paper. “I told him he got his wish.”

Gillane also was livid that both his ex-wives had left him for women and that his relationship with his children was strained, the Gazette-Journal said. When O’Bryan suggested that he surrender for the sake of his 5-year-old daughter, Gillane said she was better off without him, O’Bryan testified.

Eventually, Gillane surrendered so he could get treatment for a migraine and anxiety. One of his demands, O'Bryan testified, was that he be allowed to apologize to a co-worker at whom he’d pointed his gun. O’Bryan had her chat briefly with Gillane before authorities whisked him away.


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