Former Walmart employee charged after plowing car into Concord store, police say

CONCORD, N.C. — Police said a former Walmart employee is in custody after he drove a car into the store in Concord early Friday.

The Concord Police Department tweeted around 6:30 a.m. that it was investigating the incident at the Walmart on Thunder Road, off Derita Road near Concord Mills and Interstate 85.

(WATCH BELOW: Channel 9′s Susanna Black and Anthony Kustura report from the scene after a driver crashed into the front of a Concord Walmart.)

According to police, around 6 a.m., 32-year-old Lacy Cordell Gentry, drove a car through the front entrance of the store.

“What possesses somebody to do that?” Concord resident Lauren Vanarsdale said.

When officers got to the Walmart, they went inside and confronted the driver, taking him into custody without incident.

Police said Gentry is a former employee at the store and had been fired within the past week. Officials did not release a motive but said the driver may have been disgruntled with management.

“Talk about disgruntled, wow,” therapist Dr. Altamit Lewis said.

Lewis and therapist Dr. Gigi Hamilton said after seeing the damage done, they aren’t necessarily surprised to learn Gentry had been terminated.

“Some people don’t have anger management skills,” Hamilton said.

Gentry has been charged with two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, felony breaking and entering, two misdemeanor counts of assault with a deadly weapon and other charges relating to the damage of property. He was also served other warrants that were outstanding prior to this incident.

Gentry is being held at the Cabarrus County Jail with bail set at $100,000.

Throughout the morning, Channel 9 crews could see dozens of police, fire and EMS crews at the store, with most of the activity focused around the pharmacy and grocery entrance.

The front door to the store was mangled from the impact.

First responders were able to get all the employees out of the building and no injuries were reported. The store was scheduled to open at 7 a.m. but remained closed Friday as crews worked to clean up.

A Walmart worker who was inside the store at the time shared photos of the aftermath with Channel 9, showing aisles damaged and merchandise strewn across the floor.

A worker in the building said that after crashing through the front doors, the car drove around inside the store and employees all ran outside. Witnesses told Channel 9 that the vehicle was heavily damaged.

Police also said Gentry did a lot of damage in the store.

“If you take a car through a Walmart, there’s going to be a lot of damage,” a police official told Channel 9. “Aisles aren’t wide enough [for a car] so there’s a lot of property damage.”

Check back with wsoctv.com for updates on this developing story.