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Police: California gunman killed wife night before shooting

By
Sara Shayanian and Danielle Haynes

Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A man accused of killing four people in Northern California killed his wife the night before and hid her body under the floor of their home, sheriff's officials said Wednesday.

Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston told reporters investigators believe Kevin Janson Neal got into an argument with his wife Monday night and killed her. The argument, they think, sparked the shooting rampage that also injured 10 people.

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Neal died during a shootout with police at the end of the 45-minute ordeal, bringing the total death toll to six.

Neal, 44, chose random targets and stole two vehicles during the rampage. Police said he had three weapons, including a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns.

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Johnston said Neal stabbed two other women earlier this year -- one found dead Tuesday, and another attacked and robbed in January.

A Tehama County judge signed a protective order for both women and a felony criminal trial was set to take place next year.

Neal's neighbors said he fired gunshots at his home for days before the shootings.

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"The crazy thing is that the neighbor has been shooting a lot of bullets lately, hundreds of rounds, large magazines," neighbor Brian Flint said. "We made it aware that this guy is crazy and he's been threatening us."

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Police say Neal started shooting Tuesday by killing two neighbors, stealing their vehicle and driving toward Rancho Tehama Elementary school -- shooting at people along the way at random.

School officials heard gunshots and locked down the premises. The gunman tried to enter but wasn't able to, police said. He fired 30 shots in 6 minutes before leaving.

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"The quick action of those school officials. There is no doubt in my mind, saved countless lives," Johnston said. "He did shoot at a number of classrooms which resulted in the injury of at least one or two students that I'm aware of."

The police have not connected Neal with anyone from the elementary school.

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