Spree shooter kills 4 in Cal­i­for­nia

Toronto Sun - - NEWS -

RAN­CHO TE­HAMA RE­SERVE, Calif. — A gun­man driv­ing stolen ve­hi­cles and choos­ing his tar­gets at ran­dom opened fire “with­out provo­ca­tion” in a ru­ral North­ern Cal­i­for­nia town Tues­day, killing four peo­ple and wound­ing 10 oth­ers, in­clud­ing a stu­dent, 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 about 4 km away and spent about six min­utes shoot­ing into the build­ing, strik­ing one stu­dent, Johnston said.

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

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 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. He con­tin­ued the ram­page un­til po­lice shot him about 45 min­utes af­ter it started, Johnston said.

The shoot­ings oc­curred in the ru­ral com­mu­nity of Ran­cho Te­hama Re­serve, a home­own­ers as­so­ci­a­tion of mod­est houses in rolling wood­lands dot­ted with graz­ing cat­tle.

Po­lice of­fered no word on 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 Red­ding that his neigh­bour, whom he knows only as Kevin, was the gun­man and that his room­mate was among the vic­tims.

JIM SCHULTZ/THE RECORD SEARCH­LIGHT VIA AP

Crime tape blocks off Ran­cho Te­hama Rd. lead­ing into the Ran­cho Te­hama sub­di­vi­sion south of Red Bluff, Calif., yes­ter­day.

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