Carson Sheriff Ken Furlong credits the cool headed staff of the Olive Garden restaurant and alert patrons with preventing a gun-wielding man from turning the situation into a potential mass shooting.
The incident occurred at 8:55 p.m. Sunday night when an irate patron, David Paul Lane, 56, started complaining about his food and demanded to see a manager.
Despite the manager’s best efforts, Furlong said Lane just got angrier and demanded access to the kitchen. When the assistant manager came to help, Lane reportedly chest bumped him before pulling a pistol from his waistband. Furlong said Lane is accused of pointing the weapon at both men and threatening to shoot them if he wasn’t allowed into the kitchen. He emphasized the threat by pulling back the slide on the weapon, ejecting a round.
He then walked through the kitchen, according to staff as though he was looking for someone, before leaving the restaurant.
While that was happening, one witness reported to the Appeal that their waitress Erica was rushing other customers out of the restaurant to safety. He said as he, his nine-year-old granddaughter and other customers ran for safety, he noticed she was lagging behind to make sure everyone else got out safely.
“We don’t know exactly what happened but we do know that Erica put herself in harm’s way to care for others,” said the man in an email. He could not be reached for further comment.
As the gunman left, another patron wrote down his license plate number, which was traced to an Indian Hills address, according to Furlong. Furlong said the Douglas County deputy who responded to the house had to fight Lane to make the arrest.
According to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, facing the possibility that Lane was armed, the deputy drew his weapon and called out to him.
Lane ran for his front door and the deputy pursued him, catching up to him at the door. Lane opened the door and the deputy grabbed his shirt and the two men ended up in the threshold.
The deputy said Lane turned and they were face to face. Lane told him to leave and the deputy told Lane to get on the ground. In the meantime, the deputy said Lane kept looking down at his waistband, where the deputy said he feared Lane had a weapon.
In his report, the deputy said he struck Lane in the head with his service weapon, and Lane raised his hands to his head.
The deputy knocked Lane off his feet and onto his side, and requested medics to help Lane. When backup arrived, deputies handcuffed Lane and found a loaded Glock 9 mm pistol in his waistband.
“When he was taken into custody, he still had the gun in his waistband,” Furlong said. “It was not a pleasant takedown.”
Lane was turned over to Carson City deputies who took him to Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center for treatment and then into custody.
Lane is charged with two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon, burglary with a deadly weapon — also a felony — as well as misdemeanor counts of carrying a concealed weapon and battery. Altogether his bail is $83,500. In Douglas County, was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit and resisting a public officer.
He will appear in court at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
Furlong pointed out that the Olive Garden restaurant is only about a block away from IHOP where a Eduardo Sencion shot and killed four people and wounded seven before killing himself in September 2011.
“We’ve been through it,” said Furlong. “We’ve got to have a guardian angel over this area because we could have had another IHOP.”
Furlong credited the staff of the restaurant for their preparedness and cool handling of the situation as well as the patrons. He also credited the Douglas County officer who quickly apprehended Lane near his Mica Drive home.
Because of all their efforts, the only injuries reported were minor injuries Lane suffered in the fight with the Douglas deputy.
But Furlong said he still doesn’t know what set Lane off.
“He told his wife he was going up there for dinner.”