Another mass shooting carried out by gunman with violent history, mental health issues

Kevin Janson Neal. (Corning Police Department)

A gunman went on a shooting rampage Tuesday at a series of locations in northern California, killing five and leaving another 10 wounded. The shooter was shot to death by police after they rammed his car and exchanged gunfire with him.

Authorities said Kevin Janson Neal, 43, was the gunman. On Wednesday, investigators found Neal’s wife dead in the couple’s home. They found her body hidden beneath the floor, The Associated Press reported. Police believe that she was the first victim killed in his rampage, Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said. Just one day before the shooting rampage, the AP reported, Neal had been the subject of a domestic violence call made to police. And neighbors had complained that he’d been firing hundreds of rounds of ammunition recently at all hours of the day and night.

“We were looking for his wife, couldn’t find her yesterday,” Johnston said, according to NBC News. “We located her dead body concealed under the floor of the residence.” Johnston did not identify Neal’s wife by name, but said that she had sustained several gunshot wounds.”We are confident he murdered her, shot her … literally put her body in the floor, covered it up,” he said.

Neal was described by relatives as a marijuana farmer who also suffered from unspecified mental health issues. He’d been arrested for stabbing his neighbor back in January after an altercation, and was out on bail. Authorities said Neal used a semiautomatic rifle and two handguns during the shooting spree in rural California, though the terms of his bail conditions and whether he was legally in possession of the firearms were unclear.

Neal’s sister, Sheridan Orr, said he had “no business” owning guns given that he had long struggled with mental health issues and had a violent temper. His mother, identified by the AP only as Anne, said Neal had been in a long-running dispute with his neighbors, one of whom was killed in the rampage. His mother became distraught speaking with the AP about how she’d been fighting his legal battles for him. “Mom it’s all over now,” she said he told her during an ominous phone call the day before the shooting. “I have done everything I could do and I am fighting against everyone who lives in this area.”

Police said the mass shooting could’ve been much worse. Neal attempted to gain entry to Rancho Tehama Elementary School, but it had been placed on lockdown after reports of gunfire in the area had been made. Unable to get inside the school, Neal, police said, spent about six minutes shooting into it before fleeing the scene.

Read the full story at The Associated Press.


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