Horror in Tehama: Four Killed, Ten Wounded in Shooting Spree
Four people were killed and more than ten injured Tuesday in a horrific shooting that occurred just outside the Rancho Tehama Elementary School in Northern California. No children were killed in the incident, according to Assistant Tehama County Sheriff Phil Johnston, but they were among the injured.
"People died here today," said Johnston. "This is a very tragic event for all of us. There are children involved. It's an emotional thing."
Parents of some of the school children were among the slain.
Vice President Mike Pence, Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein, and Governor Jerry Brown offered swift condolences.
"Anne and I are saddened to hear about today’s violence in Tehama County, which shockingly involved schoolchildren,” the governor said. “We offer our condolences to the families who lost loved ones and unite with all Californians in grief.”
The Corning Union School District issued this statement:
This morning prior to the beginning of classes, a gunman crashed his vehicle through the school’s locked gate and fired dozens of shots at Rancho Tehama Elementary School.
The gunman shot out windows and through walls. In addition to injuries from broken glass, a student on campus was wounded by gunfire. We are informed that the student is in stable condition. We do not have any further information regarding students’ current medical condition.
Authorities said the shooter was armed with a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns. His rampage ended when he was shot and killed by police. Family members have identified him as 43-year-old Kevin Janson Neal, but law enforcement has not confirmed his identity officially yet.
The motive for the attack remains unclear. The family of the alleged gunman said he had a history of severe mental health issues and that they had tried to get him help to no avail.
It appears the suspect was "randomly picking targets" and attempted to enter classrooms but found the doors locked, preventing even greater carnage, according to authorities. The spree began when he shot and killed a woman on Bobcat Lane in Corning with whom he had an ongoing dispute. He then began driving by homes, shooting into them before approaching the elementary school.