Rancho Tehama Reserve in California is the scene of America’s latest shooting spree. What happened on Rancho Tehama Reserve? Who is the Rancho Tehama shooter? And what was the motive for the Rancho Tehama Reserve shooting spree?
Rancho Tehama Reserve Shooting
On November 14, 2017, around 8:00 a.m. PT, police got reports of a “man down” on Bobcat Lane. Later on, shots were reported fired at Rancho Tehama Elementary School.
Multiple 911 calls poured in about a man shooting from a vehicle at people on the street and in other vehicles.
The chaos continued with a police chase, car crash, and gunfight.
In the end, it’s reported that five adults were killed by the shooter and 10 people were wounded, including at least three children. The shooter died while exchanging fire with police.
Who Is the Rancho Tehama Shooter?
The Rancho Tehama shooter has been identified as area resident Kevin Janson Neal, 43. The investigation into the suspect is still underway, so more information will be added as it becomes available.
What Happened on the Rancho Tehama Reserve?
According to Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston, the suspect began the Rancho Tehama Reserve shooting spree by firing shots near his home on Bobcat Lane. Johnston said the suspect killed a man and a female neighbor who he was feuding with.
Neal then allegedly stole his neighbor Brian Flint’s truck. Police say Neal began driving through the community, shooting randomly at people on the street and in cars, including parents taking their children to school.
When Neal arrived at Rancho Tehama Elementary School, he attempted to ram his way into the schoolyard through the gate. Unable to get through the locked gate, he exited the stolen truck and tried several doors at the school. However, by then the school staff had the building on lockdown, so Neal was unable to enter. He fired many rounds outside the school before stealing another vehicle.
After the suspect began driving again, he was confronted by sheriff’s deputies arriving at the scene. The deputies forced the stolen car off the road and Neal engaged them in a gunfight. Neal was shot and killed by two officers.
The Rancho Tehama Reserve shooting spree lasted 45 minutes.
The number of people wounded could climb from 10, as the police and FBI are still investigating. The case is complicated since there are at least seven crime scenes. So far, sheriff’s deputies have found a semiautomatic rifle and two handguns at the scene(s).
What Was the Rancho Tehama Shooter’s Motive?
While talking to reporters, Johnston called the string of shootings a “bizarre and murderous rampage.”
Police initially said that the Rancho Tehama Reserve shooting spree appeared to have been set off by a “domestic violence incident.” They later revealed that they had found the body of Neal’s wife beneath the floor of their home.
Authorities said most of the Rancho Tehama Reserve shooting spree victims appear to have been selected randomly.
Johnston cited a conflict with neighbors as another possible motive behind the shooting spree.
Neal’s neighbor Flint asserted that Neal was the gunman, though at the time he only knew him by his first name. He told reporters that his roommate had been shot and his truck stolen on November 14.
Flint also said that he had recently heard gunfire coming from his neighbor’s home and he felt threatened.
It seems the shooting spree may be connected to an incident in early 2017. Neal was arrested for allegedly stabbing one woman and robbing another. He was out on a $160,000 bail, awaiting his court date for the charges. Both women filed restraining orders against him.
Johnston said the woman who had been stabbed was killed during the Rancho Tehama Reserve shooting spree.
The tiny community of Rancho Tehama Reserve in Tehama County, northern California was hit hard by this terrible gun violence. It has a population of just 1,485 people, according to the latest census data, so the shooting spree likely affected many people in the area.
However, a much greater tragedy was averted. Johnston lauded the staff at Rancho Tehama Elementary School for bringing students inside and locking the school down as soon as they heard gunfire nearby. This almost certainly saved the lives of the children.
“I have to say this incident, as tragic and as bad as it is, could have been so much worse,” Johnston said to the press.