California Shootings Leave 5 Dead in 7 Locations, Including School

(International Business Times) A gunman “randomly picking targets” killed four people and injured at least 10, including two children, in a deadly shooting rampage Tuesday through rural Rancho Tehama County in Northern California, sheriff’s officials said.

The situation was finally brought under control after the police rammed the gunman’s vehicle during a fierce encounter, killing the suspect, authorities said.

“The suspect was shooting at the police vehicle, back at them, the officer rammed the vehicle, forced it off the road, an exchange of gunfire — resulting in the shooter’s death,” Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said.

The shooting finally ended after what authorities described as a 45-minute rampage through Rancho Tehama, a quiet reserve about 120 miles northwest of downtown Sacramento.

Identified as Kevin Janson Neal, the shooter wielded a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns during the carnage, according to the police who recovered the firearms that they believed were used by the gunman.

The gunman was said to have terrorized a local elementary school at one point during his rampage. Witnesses told the law enforcement officials he crashed through the school’s gates with his truck and opened fire, spraying walls and classrooms with bullets. Teachers and other adults were quick to get students under the desks. The suspect also tried to get into the campus but a quick lockdown stopped him from doing so.

The violence reportedly began just before 8 a.m. EST on Tuesday when the police received reports of a “man down” on Bobcat Lane near Fawn Lane in Tehama County. Johnston said the suspect first killed a man and a female neighbor with whom he reportedly had a feud. Neal had been arrested earlier in January once for attacking the woman during a dispute, Johnston said. The neighbor also had a restraining order against the gunman since then.

Johnston said one of the motives behind the shooting could be the dispute with the neighbors and might have sparked the violence.

“I think the motive of getting even with his neighbors and when it went that far — he just went on a rampage,” Johnston speculated. However, he said it was not clear if there had been other motives, as the police mentioned the other targets were picked randomly, according to Los Angeles Times.

The shootings were said to have occurred at seven locations, including the elementary school in Tehama County. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents from across the state have been called in to help investigate the incident.

No children were killed, but two young boys were among the 10 injured. However, they were said to have nonlife-threatening injuries.

Neal had already been in trouble with the law before the shooting rampage on Tuesday. District Attorney Gregg Cohen told the Sacramento Bee that “Neal was currently being prosecuted by his office for assault with a deadly weapon and a stabbing that had occurred earlier this year.”

Neal’s neighbor also told reporters that early Tuesday his roommate had been shot and the suspect was a felon named Kevin.

The neighbor, Brian Flint, said he had received a call in the morning that his roommate was injured and that his truck had been stolen, USA Today affiliate the Record Searchlight reported. The report quoted Flint as saying: “The crazy thing is that the neighbor has been shooting a lot of bullets lately, hundreds of rounds, large magazines. We made it aware that this guy is crazy and he’s been threatening us.”

Republished with permission from International Business Times via iCopyright license

  • Steve G.

    Another example that laws don’t protect innocent people. A restraining order didn’t stop him from killing his neighbors and a gun free zone didn’t stop him from trying to attack children. This man was heading down this path for awhile, and even though he was having legal issues that screamed he was headed this way, the law was unable to protect anyone.