The California gunman who recently killed at least 4 people and hospitalized 10 — two children were shot while being dropped off at school by their parents — has been identified and he has a violent past.
Kevin Janson Neal, 43, was identified after authorities shot him down at a roadblock.
Neal went on a shooting rampage Tuesday which climaxed as he went smashing through school’s gate and firing into the building.
He started near his home in the Rancho Tehama Reserve on Bobcat Lane, roughly around 8:00am, where he randomly started shooting at people. Then he stole a truck and shot into people’s homes, pedestrians and other drivers.
Neal then arrived at the Rancho Tehama Elementary School and rammed the stolen vehicle through the gates; unleashing an estimate of 100 bullets through the windows of the schools, hitting one child. He attempted to go inside the school, but fled instead and was shot dead by police.
‘I thought there was a car accident,’ Stephanie Turner, a parent dropping off her children at the time, told the Sacramento Bee.
‘I pulled into the school and heard gunshots. I told my kids to get down onto the floor. Then I saw a guy in the back of the school with a rifle. As soon as he saw us, he started shooting at us. I just took off.’
This isn’t the first time Neal has been violent though. He had previously stabbed one of his neighbors and used a gun to shoot at them.
Via the Daily Mail: Tehama County District Attorney Gregg Cohen told ChicoER that on January 31, a long-standing dispute between Neal and two female neighbors came to a head when he shot at them and attacked one with a knife.
He said Neal opened fire on the neighbors as they walked along a wooden fence.
He reportedly then jumped the fence, stabbed one of them and stole the other’s cellphone.
Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston told Fox News that one of the victims was the woman he shot in January, although it’s not clear if she was fatally wounded.
Police are still working out the exact motive for the shooting.
After the January attack, Neal was arrested and charged with second-degree burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of false imprisonment by violence, discharge of a firearm with gross negligence, possession of an assault weapon and misdemeanor battery.
He was set to go back to trial in January 2018 and his bail was posted for $160,000.
Neal’s own family said he had a violent temper and had no business owning guns; his sister even admitted he was probably addicted to drugs.
Sheridan Orr said she had not talked to her brother in months and was appalled when she heard about the shooting.
District Attorney Gregg Cohen said that while the school incident was shocking, it came at the close of Neal’s 45-minute rampage, during which four other victims were killed.
‘Obviously, the school gets all the attention, but there were many other people who were killed by his hands,’ he said.
Governor Jerry Brown issued a statement after the incident: ‘Anne and I are saddened to hear about today’s violence in Tehama County, which shockingly involved schoolchildren.
‘We offer our condolences to the families who lost loved ones and unite with all Californians in grief.’