Gun­man kills four and fires on school in Cal­i­for­nia ram­page

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS - BY DON THOM­SON

A GUN­MAN choos­ing tar­gets at ran­dom opened fire in a ru­ral Cal­i­for­nia town, killing four peo­ple and wound­ing oth­ers at a pri­mary school be­fore po­lice shot him dead yes­ter­day.

The gun­fire be­gan at about 8am in the com­mu­nity of Ran­cho Te­hama Re­serve, about 130 miles north of Sacra­mento.

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

Wit­nesses re­ported hear­ing gun­shots and chil­dren scream­ing at a pri­mary school about five miles away from where the shoot­ing is be­lieved to have started. Sev­eral peo­ple were wounded at the school.

Sal­vador Tello said the gun­semi-au­to­matic man fired at a truck in front of him as he was drop­ping off his three chil­dren.

Mr Tello said he was close to the school when bul­lets made “big holes” in the truck in front of him.

He said he forced his chil­dren to duck down, slammed his truck into re­v­erse and headed to the chil­dren’s grand­mother’s house.

“I don’t be­lieve it, be­cause I wake up, take my kids, feed them ce­real and put them in the truck, and say ‘let’s go to school like a nor­mal day’,” he said.

On the way, he said, he saw an ap­par­ent gun­shot vic­tim and po­lice at an­other scene.

De­tails were still sketchy hours af­ter the shoot­ings, and au­thor­i­ties did not have a firm count of the wounded due to the num­ber of places the gun­man had at­tacked, Mr Johnston said.

Au­thor­i­ties re­cov­ered a ri­fle and two hand­guns.

The ru­ral area is de­scribed on its web­site as a “quiet pri­vate coun­try com­mu­nity” where “the peo­ple are friendly and the pace is re­laxed”.

Two hos­pi­tals said they were treat­ing seven gun­shot vic­tims, in­clud­ing at least three chil­dren.

At least one child was wounded at the school. An­other child was shot while driv­ing with a woman, who also was wounded, Mr Johnston said.

He de­clined to re­lease the name of the gun­man but said he was “aware” of a do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in­ci­dent that neigh­bours re­ported.

Brian Flint told a news­pa­per in the city of Red­ding that his neigh­bour, who he knows only as Kevin, was the gun­man and that his room­mate was among the vic­tims.

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