GUN­MAN KILLS FOUR

Sus­pect tar­gets peo­ple at ran­dom in north­ern cal­i­for­nia town

Calgary Sun - - NEWS - DON THOMP­SON AND PAUL ELIAS The As­so­ci­ated Press

RAN­CHO TE­HAMA RE­SERVE, Calif. — A gun­man driv­ing stolen ve­hi­cles and choos­ing his tar­gets at ran­dom opened fire “with­out provo­ca­tion” in a tiny, ru­ral north­ern Cal­i­for­nia town Tues­day, killing four peo­ple and wound­ing at least 10 oth­ers, in­clud­ing a stu­dent at an ele­men­tary school, be­fore po­lice shot him dead, au­thor­i­ties said.

The ram­page be­gan shortly be­fore 8 a.m. when the gun­man fa­tally shot a neigh­bour he had been ac­cused of stab­bing in Jan­uary, Te­hama County As­sis­tant Sher­iff Phil John­ston said.

Shortly af­ter­ward, the gun­man rammed through the gate of Ran­cho Te­hama Ele­men­tary School and spent about six min­utes shoot­ing into the build­ing, strik­ing at least one stu­dent, John­ston said.

Sur­veil­lance video showed the gun­man, who was not iden­ti­fied, try­ing un­suc­cess­fully to en­ter the school, au­thor­i­ties said.

School of­fi­cials’ swift de­ci­sion to lock the doors after hear­ing gun­fire was “mon­u­men­tal” in sav­ing the lives of count­less chil­dren, John­ston said. No one was killed there.

The gun­man left the school after he could not get in­side and pur­posely crashed the stolen truck he was driv­ing into an­other ve­hi­cle and shot at its oc­cu­pants, John­ston said.

The shooter stole the car of a per­son who stopped to check on the crash and ran away when con­fronted with a gun. He con­tin­ued the ram­page un­til po­lice shot him about 45 min­utes after it started, John­ston said.

“This man was very, very bent on com­plet­ing what he set out to do,” the as­sis­tant sher­iff said.

Po­lice of­fered no im­me­di­ate word on the as­sailant’s mo­tive, but a sher­iff ’s of­fi­cial said the shooter’s neigh­bours had re­ported a do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in­ci­dent a day ear­lier.

Brian Flint told the Record Search­light news­pa­per in the city of Red­ding that his neigh­bour, whom he knows only as Kevin, was the gun­man and that his room­mate was among the vic­tims. He said the shooter stole his truck.

“The crazy thing is that the neigh­bour has been shoot­ing a lot of bul­lets lately, hun­dreds of rounds, large mag­a­zines,” Flint said. “We made it aware that this guy is crazy and he’s been threat­en­ing us.”

John­ston said of­fi­cials re­ceived mul­ti­ple 911 calls about gun­fire at an in­ter­sec­tion of two dirt roads in the up­per reaches of the sparsely pop­u­lated neigh­bour­hood. Min­utes later, more calls re­port­ing shots flooded in from dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing a small ele­men­tary school.

“It was very clear at the on­set that we had an in­di­vid­ual that was ran­domly pick­ing tar­gets,” John­ston said.

JIM SCHULTZ/THE RecoRd SeARch­lighT viA AP

Crime tape blocks off Ran­cho Te­hama Road lead­ing into the Ran­cho Te­hama sub­di­vi­sion, south of Red Bluff, Calif., fol­low­ing a fa­tal shoot­ing Tues­day. A gun­man shot ran­dom tar­gets killing four peo­ple and in­jur­ing sev­eral oth­ers be­fore be­ing shot dead by po­lice.

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