Gunman kills 4, wounds 10, in Northern California
Neighbors said living near suspect was ‘ hell’
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.
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.