Spree shooter kills 4 in California
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.
Crime tape blocks off Rancho Tehama Rd. leading into the Rancho Tehama subdivision south of Red Bluff, Calif., yesterday.