Gunman kills four and fires on school in California rampage
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.