The gunman behind Tuesday’s deadly shooting rampage in and near rural Rancho Tehama Reserve that killed four people and wounded at least 10 has been identified as 43-year-old Kevin Janson Neal. The shooting spread over at least seven locations of the community with a population of 1,500 people. One location was outside an elementary school.
Police said at least two elementary students were among the wounded transported to hospitals, but confirmed that no children died in the rampage. Neal was shot and killed by police.
Neal was known to police in the area. According to The Orange County Register, he was recently charged with assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly shot at two female neighbors through a wooden fence. Neal then reportedly "jumped the fence, confronted the women, stabbed one and took a cellphone from the other."
The violence on Tuesday began near his home. He shot a woman whom he knew and was involved in a dispute with. Then, he began killing at random, police said. He shot at people on the street and in cars. Neal also engaged in several drive-by shootings, aiming at people sitting inside their homes.
“He pretty much stopped me and shot at me three times through his windshield,” Sarah Gonzales, whose car was blocked by the shooter after she dropped off her daughter at school, told CBS.
“This individual shooter was bent on engaging and killing people at random,” Phil Johnston, assistant sheriff of Tehama County, said.
At some point in the morning, Neal entered the elementary school, Rancho Tehama School. Neal was unable to get into any classrooms because the building was on lockdown after gunshots were heard, The New York Times reported. A parent, Coy Ferreira, took shelter inside the school and said bullets crashed through the window of the classroom he hiding in. One of the bullets wounded a child.
“There was gunshots going for a good 25 minutes,” Ferreira told television station KRCR.
“This incident, as tragic and as bad as it is, could have been so much worse if it wasn’t for the quick thinking and staff at our elementary school,” Johnson said.
According to The New York Times, one man said that Neal, his neighbor, stole his truck and fatally shot his roommate.
“My truck was stolen, used in the crime,” he said.
Neal reportedly used a semiautomatic rifle and two handguns in the deadly rampage.
[Photo: Tehama County Sheriff's Office]