5 dead in series of shootings that ended at California elementary school

By Danielle Haynes  |  Updated Nov. 15, 2017 at 1:38 PM
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Nov. 14 (UPI) -- A series of shootings Tuesday that ended at a Northern California elementary school left at least five people dead and 10 others injured, including two children, sheriff's officials said.

Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston called the incident in Rancho Tehama, Calif., a "bizarre and murderous rampage," the Record Searchlight reported.

Officials identified the suspect as 44-year-old Kevin Janson Neal. Police shot and killed Neal during the incident.

"This man was very, very intent on completing what he set out to do today," Johnston said. "The shooter was bent on killing and shooting people at random."

Neal allegedly had a dispute with a neighbor who was found dead. He then went on a shooting spree in the Northern California town located about 125 miles northwest of Sacramento.

"This is an individual who armed himself, I think with the motive of getting even with his neighbors and when it went that far [that someone was killed] he just went on a rampage," Johnston said, according to CNN.

Neal then allegedly put on a tactical vest, packed extra ammunition and began firing at random motorists and shooting a person whose car he purposely crashed into.

The suspect ended up at the Rancho Tehama Elementary School. But by the time he got there, the school staff had already heard the gunshots nearby, locked the doors and told students to hide under desks.

Johnston told reporters the killing spree "could have been much worse" if school employees didn't act as quickly as they did.

"He couldn't make access to any of the rooms; they were locked ... .This saved countless lives," Johnston said.

There were some injuries at the school. Officials transported a 6-year-old student with two gunshot injuries to Mercy Medical Center in Redding. A second child had a gunshot wound to the right leg. A 30-year-old man received a gunshot wound in the right thigh.

There were a total of 10 people injured, and Tehama County Superintendent of Schools Rich DuVarney said no students or staff at the school were among the fatalities.

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