‘With­out provo­ca­tion’

GUN­MAN TAR­GETS PEO­PLE AT RAN­DOM IN CAL­I­FOR­NIA TOWN, KILLS 4

West Hawaii Today - - Nation & World - BY DON THOMP­SON AND PAUL ELIAS

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.

RICH PEDRONCELLI/ AP PHOTO

Two women em­brace out­side Ran­cho Te­hama Ele­men­tary School Tues­day in Corn­ing, Calif.

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