At least five people are dead and 10 wounded following a series of apparently random shootings Tuesday morning at seven different locations in rural Northern California.
One of the locations was an elementary school, police said, where at least two students were sent to hospitals with injuries including a 6-year-old boy. The dead included the shooter, who was killed by police.
The shooting started at 7:52 a.m. Pacific Time when the gunman shot several of his own neighbors on Bobcat Lane in Rancho Tehama Reserve. Witnesses said one man died in his driveway as a result of the first round of gunfire.
Residents there said they had been complaining for weeks about the shooter firing his gun late at night and early mornings.
From his own subdivision, the shooter is believed to have used a stolen truck to travel toward the town. He opened fire on a woman and her daughter, who were in a Ford truck on the main road leading through town. Both were taken to hospital along with three children and an adult from the school.
Another person was shot at Stagecoach Road and Oak Park Road, another intersection leading in to the town.
The last stop on his rampage was the Rancho Tehama Elementary School in Corning, about 120 miles north of Sacramento and 15 miles from Red Bluff.
Police said the shooter, armed with a rifle and two handguns, appeared to randomly pick his targets. Two officers engaged the shooter, who was shot dead. His motive remains unclear, and he had not been identified as of mid-afternoon Tuesday.
Police said a child and an adult woman were shot while traveling in a truck.
Gunman identified by sister
Police would not disclose the names of the gunman or victims, pending notification of next of kin. But in a phone interview Tuesday night with the Los Angeles Times, the sister of the gunman confirmed his identity as Kevin Janson Neal, 44.
Sheridan Orr, of North Carolina, said her brother had a history of mental illness and episodes of rage.
Rancho Tehama resident Salvador Tello told the Record Searchlight he was taking his three children to school when the gunman fired at a truck in front of him.
He said he saw bullets hit the truck in front of him, so he made his children get down and put his truck in reverse.
Tello said that, as he left, he saw a woman lying dead in the street with her husband next to her, apparently wounded.
Undersheriff Phil Johnston with the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office told the Record Searchlight the victim toll may rise. He confirmed two children were also shot and wounded, and the shootings happened at seven or more different spots.
One father, Coy Ferreira, told ABC News’ Redding, California, affiliate KRCR-TV he was dropping his daughter off for kindergarten when he heard what sounded like a firecracker.
A school employee ran out and yelled for the children to get inside the classrooms because someone was shooting at the school, Ferreira said.
That’s when he said he ran into a classroom and multiple shots came through the classroom windows, hitting a student.
Surrounding residents and business owners said they heard approximately 100 rounds fired at or near the school Tuesday morning. They could hear the gunfire and screams coming from the school.
About 100 students attend Rancho Tehama School, which was placed on lockdown, Ann Bates, administrative assistant to the superintendent of the Corning Union Elementary School District, told ABC News.
The Rancho Tehama Reserve has a population of about 1,485 people. It is described on its website as a “quiet private country community” located 12 miles west of Interstate 5 between Red Bluff and Corning. The community is a place “where people are friendly and the pace is relaxed,” the website reads.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the area was 86.3 percent white in 2010 and had a poverty rate then of 43 percent.
Resident Brian Flint told the Searchlight he got a call in the morning that his roommate was injured and that his truck had been stolen. It turned out his neighbor was the gunman, Flint said.
“The crazy thing is that the neighbor has been shooting a lot of bullets lately, hundreds of rounds, large magazines,” Flint told the newspaper. “We made it aware that this guy is crazy and he’s been threatening us.”
Living near the gunman was “hell,” Flint said, and the man was a known felon who often harassed him and his neighbors.
The owner of a nearby cafe, Coffee Addiction, told the L.A. Times she called 9-1-1 after hearing gunfire and screaming at the elementary school.
The woman, who identified herself only as Tiffany, said she heard about 100 rounds fired from what sounded like multiple guns.
Tiffany said she and her husband and their four children moved to the area from Redding about seven years ago and have always felt safe.
“It’s a great community,” she said. “I am hoping it doesn’t get some kind of bad rap because of one person in one area.”