GUNMAN TARGETS PEOPLE AT RANDOM IN CALIFORNIA TOWN, KILLS 4
RANCHO TEHAMA RESERVE, Calif. — A gunman driving stolen vehicles and choosing his targets at random opened fire “without provocation” in a tiny, rural Northern California town Tuesday, killing four people and wounding at least 10 others, including a student at an elementary school, before police shot him dead, authorities said.
The rampage began shortly before 8 a.m. when the gunman fatally shot a neighbor 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 2 miles away and spent about six minutes shooting into the building, striking at least one student, who was flown by helicopter to a hospital, Johnston said.
Surveillance video showed the gunman, who was not identified, trying unsuccessfully to enter the school, which has one class of students from kindergarten through fifth grade, authorities said.
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.
Police offered no immediate word on the assailant’s motive, but a sheriff ’s official said the shooter’s neighbors had reported a domestic violence incident a day earlier. Officials did not specify who was involved or what happened.
“This man was very, very bent on completing what he set out to do,” Johnston said.
Two women embrace outside Rancho Tehama Elementary School Tuesday in Corning, Calif.