Deputies “wouldn’t do anything” to cease California gunman, resident says

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RANCHO TEHAMA RESERVE, Calif. — Residents of a distant Northern California group terrorized by a mbad taking pictures this week say they need extra frequent patrols from sheriff’s deputies and expressed anger and frustration over seemingly being left to fend for themselves in what a number of known as a “Wild West” environment.
    
The Rancho Tehama Reserve owners’ affiliation board met on Thursday to speak about extra patrols, two days after 44-year-old Kevin Neal killed his spouse and 4 others earlier than he died in a gun battle with deputies. Neal focused an elementary college whereas randomly taking pictures at houses and motorists within the sprawling rural subdivision about 130 miles north of Sacramento.

He was identified to authorities and had not less than one prior arrest.   

Board president Juan Caravez was amongst these complaining that deputies did not do sufficient to cease Neal regardless of quite a few complaints from neighbors that he was taking pictures weapons in any respect hours of the day and night time.
    
“The sheriff wouldn’t do anything about it,” Caravez mentioned. 

Instead, he mentioned Tehama County Sheriff’s Department referred complaints to the owners’ affiliation.
    
Residents have been already complaining in regards to the lack of regulation enforcement and frequent gunfire that often disturbed the peace of the rolling oak-studded hills dotted with houses and trailers on mbadive tons, board member Richard Gutierrez mentioned.

Neighbors mentioned they’d complained repeatedly about Neal taking pictures off rounds of gunfire from his house, regardless of a courtroom order barring him from having firearms after he was accused of stabbing a neighbor in January.
    
Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston mentioned deputies had tried to contact Neal however he would not reply his door and Johnston mentioned deputies could not discover him. After being pressed by reporters on why police didn’t act when Neal was in clear violation of his courtroom order, Johnston obliquely replied: “The law is only for people who obey it.”
    
Sheriff’s division spokeswoman Lt. Yvette Borden didn’t reply to telephone and electronic mail inquiries Thursday.
    
Gutierrez was amongst these praising deputies’ swift response Tuesday. Johnston mentioned Neal was lifeless 25 minutes after dispatchers obtained the primary frantic calls. The sheriff’s headquarters is 21 miles away.
    
But Dillon Elliott was upset after listening to officers say street patrols had typically been elevated within the final six years.
    
“It’s like people out here think we’re like a lawless city trying to survive, and we kinda are,” mentioned Elliott, who grew up locally and whose mother and father nonetheless reside there.

Claudette Wright mentioned deputies responded to her calls, however the unhealthy notion stays.
    
“It’s always like, ‘Rancho, it’s crazy out there — it’s the Wild West’,” she mentioned at a group prayer vigil Wednesday night time.
    
“The perception is people think they can come out here and grow marijuana and there’s no consequences,” Wright mentioned later, although she added that she had no complaints with regulation enforcement response.
    
Benigna Gonzalez mentioned deputies appeared to not imagine her when she reported being stalked a yr in the past whereas strolling at nightfall by way of the group. She now not walks for train, takes sleeping capsules and is present process counseling.
    
“We don’t feel safe,” she mentioned tearfully. “I don’t know when I’ll feel safe anymore in this community.”
    
Police discovered the bullet-riddled physique of Neal’s spouse stuffed underneath the floorboards of their house within the rural group of Rancho Tehama Reserve. They imagine her slaying was the beginning of the rampage.

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Crime tape blocks off Rancho Tehama Road main into the Rancho Tehama Reserve south of Red Bluff, Calif., following deadly shootings Tue., Nov. 14, 2017.

AP

Neal then shot two neighbors in an obvious act of revenge earlier than he went searching for random victims on the group’s elementary college and several other different places.
    
Among these damage on the college was 6-year-old Alejandro Hernandez, who was shot within the chest, arm and foot and stays hospitalized. His aunt, Marta Monroy, pleaded with fellow residents to formally report gunfire sooner or later.
    
“No shooting in the air — call the police, please,” she urged on the prayer vigil.
    
If no more sheriffs’ patrols, then the owners’ affiliation ought to think about paying for armed personal patrols from the $50 month-to-month dues paid by each property proprietor or think about mounting an armed residents’ patrol, Raul Pinero mentioned.
    
“We need enforcement, at least something out here,” Pinero mentioned.  

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This materials might not be printed, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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