Two children were among the four people killed in a shooting on Tuesday morning in several locations of a rural community in northern California, including an elementary school, NBC reported, citing sheriff officials. Police shot and killed the suspect.
One of the children was killed at the elementary school and another in a car nearby. The gunman was “randomly picking targets,” County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said, and there may be more victims.
The gunman also wounded several people, some of whom were being treated at Mercy Medical Center.
Reports of shots fired came from near the Rancho Tehama Elementary school about 130 miles north of Sacramento. Parents were dropping children off at the school when the shooting began.
More than 100 police officers are investigating seven separate crime scenes in connection with the shooting, according to Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston, KCRA reported.
Local resident Brian Flint spoke to the Record Searchlight newspaper and told the reporter that he is the gunman’s neighbor. Flint said the gunman was acting insane and threatened him before stealing his truck. The gunman was shooting “hundreds of rounds” from his gun, Flint added.
Witnesses near the school report hearing multiple shots. One witness, Coy Ferreira, told KRCR-TV that he was dropping his daughter off at the school shortly before 8 a.m. when he heard a sound resembling firecrackers. The school’s secretary then urged the children to get inside the building because there was an active shooter.
Ferreira ended up in a classroom with more than a dozen students.
“Within a minute we were all buckled in our classrooms and all of a sudden there were gunshots going for a good 20-25 minutes. My window was hit by a few shots and a student was injured in my classroom. He got nailed somehow, it happened all so fast,” said Ferreira.
Initial reports state that children were wounded in the shooting, but Fox News received an update from a source that two children were in fact killed.
At least four people were killed and 10 hospitalized Tuesday after a shooting in a small community in Northern California. https://t.co/6YHDWIWAoD
— azcentral (@azcentral) November 14, 2017
Johnston told the Associated Press that the school was cleared by 10 a.m. Johnston also said that police received reports of domestic violence involving the shooter. The gunman’s identity has not yet been released.
Two officers were engaged in a gunfight with the suspect and killed him. A semi-automatic handgun and a rifle were retrieved from the scene.
Governor Jerry Brown issued a statement saying that he and his wife 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.”