Cops: Calif. Shooting Was Almost a School Massacre
Suspect tried to enter classrooms
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2017 3:37 AM CST
Updated Nov 15, 2017 6:22 AM CST
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Crime tape blocks off Rancho Tehama Road leading into the Rancho Tehama subdivision south of Red Bluff, Calif., following a fatal shooting on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.   (Jim Schultz/The Record Searchlight via AP)
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(Newser) – The mass shooting in California on Tuesday morning could have been a far more enormous horror if not for the quick thinking of staff at an elementary school, police say. A gunman that Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston describes as on a "killing rampage" shot randomly at people and homes as he drove toward Rancho Tehama School in the town of Corning, 130 miles north of Sacramento, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Teachers heard gunfire and ordered a lockdown shortly before the gunman rammed a fence with a pickup and entered the grounds with a semi-automatic rifle. He roamed the grounds and shot out windows but left, apparently frustrated, after he was unable to access classrooms. "The quick action of the school officials saved countless lives and children," Johnston says. "It was monumental." In other developments:

  • Suspect identified. Sources tell the Sacramento Bee that the suspect, who fired shots in at least seven locations before he was killed by police, was Kevin Janson Neal, 43. Johnston says he was on a "bizarre, murderous rampage" to "get even with a neighbor."

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