Kevin Neal killed his spouse Monday evening on the eve of the shootings and stuffed her physique beneath the ground in his dwelling, in keeping with police.
“We believe that’s probably what started this whole event,” Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston stated of the spouse’s capturing.
Hours later, Neal opened fireplace at numerous areas Tuesday, together with on the Rancho Tehama elementary college, the place he crashed his automotive by way of a locked gate and marched towards the lecture rooms.
By the time police shot him useless close to Corning the identical day, he’d killed 5 individuals and injured 10 others, authorities say.
“The only sounds I could hear were the shots,” stated Jennifer Bauman, a trainer on the college. “It was horrifying … there are specific components that I am nonetheless not prepared to speak about.
Anneika Mercer, a fifth-grader on the college, stated she first noticed damaged glass, adopted by an enormous truck and the gunman.
“He had a gun in his hand about to shoot individuals,”
In the confusion, everybody ran to the closest class, she stated.
“I really feel OK that he is gone, he will not be seeing me anymore,” she stated.
The neighborhood held a vigil Wednesday to mark the capturing. Neighbors prayed, wept and applauded lecturers who saved kids’s lives.
Tehama County District Attorney Gregg Cohen described him as a “deranged, paranoid killer” who was beneath prosecution by his workplace on a number of expenses associated to a confrontation with two feminine neighbors.
Neal was not presupposed to personal weapons following the incident along with his neighbors in January, in keeping with Cohen.
He fired pictures on the ladies, stabbed one and held them hostage, Cohen stated. After he made $160,000 bail, he was accused of repeatedly harassing the ladies, resulting in a protecting order in opposition to him in February.
Shooter constructed his personal weapons
Neal was ordered this yr to surrender his firearms as a part of a protecting order, officers stated.
Johnston stated he didn’t know whether or not Neal had surrendered the weapons.
The shooter illegally manufactured weapons he used Tuesday, officers stated. Handguns recovered by police weren’t registered to him, Johnston stated.
Neal “was not regulation enforcement pleasant” and authorities had come to his home a number of occasions after complaints that pictures had been fired from the property, Johnston stated.
Charges in opposition to Neal included assault with a lethal weapon, theft and false imprisonment, Cohen stated.
Sister speaks out
Neal’s sister informed CNN’s Sara Sidner that he has struggled with psychological well being points for not less than 20 years.
“My mother spent a substantial amount of her time and practically all her vitality making an attempt so arduous to placate him,” stated Sheridan Orr, who was together with her distraught mom in North Carolina.
Neal’s psychological state started a steep decline a few yr in the past, and the household had tried to get him assist, she stated.
The shootings began in Neal’s neighborhood shortly earlier than eight a.m. Tuesday. There, he killed a lady neighbor who had a protecting order in opposition to him, Johnston stated.
Neal had been arrested and charged in January on suspicion of assaulting her with a lethal weapon, he stated.
He then stole a pickup truck and went on a 25-minute rampage on the town, capturing at houses, motorists and finally the college, apparently at random, Johnston stated.
Wearing a tactical vest and armed with additional magazines, he tried to enter school rooms at Rancho Tehama Elementary School — about 2 miles from his dwelling. The workers heard gunfire and locked doorways and rushed college students inside, the place they hit the ground beneath desks and tables.
The shooter rammed the stolen pickup by way of the college’s locked gate, walked into the schoolyard and fired his rifle by way of home windows and partitions.
He couldn’t get inside. Apparently annoyed, he left six minutes later, Johnston stated.
Before reaching the college, he had fired from his car at passing motorists and houses.
After leaving the college, the shooter deliberately crashed the pickup right into a automotive. He exited the truck and gunned down not less than one particular person there, Johnston stated.
He then stole another person’s sedan and “went again on his rampage,” Johnston stated.
Eventually, two cops encountered him at an intersection and returned fireplace, killing him.
Aside from the primary capturing in his neighborhood, the killer seemed to be capturing individuals at random and didn’t have any connections to the college, police stated.
CNN’s Steve Almasy and Ray Sanchez contributed to this report.