Gun­man kills 4, wounds 10, in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia

Neigh­bors said liv­ing near sus­pect was ‘ hell’

Chicago Sun-Times - - NATION/WORLD - Jim Schultz Red­ding ( Calif.) Record Search­light

RAN­CHO TE­HAMA RE­SERVE, Calif. – An ap­par­ent felon who had been shoot­ing hun­dreds of rounds in re­cent days in a small com­mu­nity in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia be­gan fir­ing at ran­dom Tues­day, killing at least four peo­ple and wound­ing 10.

The gun­man shot at peo­ple and prop­erty in seven lo­ca­tions, said Un­der­sh­er­iff Phil Johnston of the Te­hama County Sher­iff’s Of­fice. He called the in­ci­dent a “bizarre and mur­der­ous ram­page.”

Of­fi­cials at Ran­cho Te­hama El­e­men­tary School heard gun­fire and im­me­di­ately locked down the fa­cil­ity, Johnston said.

He said it was “mon­u­men­tal” that school work­ers took the ac­tion they did, and he had no doubt they saved chil­dren’s lives.

The in­ci­dent comes a week af­ter a shoot­ing spree at a Suther­land Springs, Texas, church left 25 peo­ple dead, in­clud­ing a preg­nant woman whose un­born baby also died, and a lit­tle over a month af­ter 58 peo­ple were killed in a mas­sacre at a Las Ve­gas mu­sic fes­ti­val.

Shortly be­fore 8 a. m., the shooter stole a pickup, went on a shoot­ing ram­page, crashed the truck, stole a sec­ond ve­hi­cle and con­tin­ued shoot­ing un­til deputies found him dead inside a car, Johnston said.

Mem­bers of the Ran­cho Te­hama Re­serve sub­di­vi­sion iden­ti­fied the gun­man as Kevin Jan­son Neal, 43. Of­fi­cials re­leased no mo­tive for the ram­page. The man was in­volved in a do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in­ci­dent Mon­day and had been in­volved a few­months ear­lier in a stab­bing.

Two chil­dren were among the wounded Tues­day.

One of the chil­dren was shot at the school and taken to a hos­pi­tal, and a sec­ond child was in a car with his mother. The child in the car was not se­ri­ously wounded, but his mother’s in­juries were life- threat­en­ing, Johnston said.

Deputies es­corted a bus­load of stu­dents from the school, which houses about 100 kin­der­garten­ers to fifth­graders, to a safer lo­ca­tion, the Ran­cho Te­hama As­so­ci­a­tion com­mu­nity build­ing less than amile away. No stu­dents or staff were killed, said Su­per­in­ten­dent Rich Du Var­ney of the county ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment.

Brian Flint said he got a call in the morn­ing that his room­mate was in­jured and that his truck had been stolen. It turned out his neigh­bor was the gun­man.

“The crazy thing is that the neigh­bor 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.” Liv­ing near the gun­man was “hell,” Flint said, and the man of­ten ha­rassed Flint and his neigh­bors.

The shooter had a semi­au­to­matic ri­fle and two hand­guns, Johnston said.

The FBI is send­ing teams to as­sist Te­hama County in­ves­ti­ga­tors, said Ja­son Wan­del, chief di­vi­sion coun­sel at the FBI’s Sacra­mento field of­fice.

JIM SCHULTZ/ RED­DING RECORD SEARCH­LIGHT/ USA TODAY NET­WORK

Sher­iff's deputies close the road to Ran­cho Te­hama Re­serve on Tues­day af­ter sev­eral peo­ple were re­ported shot in at least seven lo­ca­tions in the ru­ral com­mu­nity.

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