Five dead in shooting rampage at California town and elementary school
Another day, another horrible shooting in America. Less than ten days ago, Devin Kelley killed 26 people at church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Today, a unnamed gunman has killed at least five (reported so far) in Rancho Tehama, a small town of 1,500 in northern California. The rampage spread through seven locations, including an elementary school, where he opened on fire on students and staff and as parents dropped their children off.
"It's a very sad day for us in Tehama County," said the sheriff's deputy. "Multiple shots were fired in Rancho Tehama. That evolved into multiple victims and multiple shots at the school. I am told the suspected shooter is deceased from law enforcement bullets."
News Anchor Cecile Juliette posted a live broadcast on Twitter:
The rampage started at 8 a.m., when the gunman opened fire on someone's home, killing one man in his driveway. Then the gunman stole a pick-up truck belonging to resident Brian Flint. Flint got a call in the morning informing him that his roommate was injured and his truck was stolen.
In an interview, Flint revealed that the gunman was actually his neighbor, and a known felon, who had been causing trouble for a while. Reportedly the man was out on bail for stabbing a woman, and owned many guns. Living next to him was "hell" because he harassed everyone in the neighborhood.
'As far as we know he was crazy," Flint said. "He shoots a lot of gunshots at night, in the morning. Like a hundred rounds...large magazines. We made [the police] aware that this guy is crazy and he’s been threatening us.”
Unfortunately, nothing was done.
Flint added that the female victim of the stabbing was the wife of the neighbor the gunman attacked.
After stealing Flint's pick-up truck, the gunman drove to Rancho Tehama Elementary School. On the way, he fired at a woman and her daughter, in a Ford. Both were taken to the hospital.
Once the gunman arrived at the school, he fired between 90 and 100 rounds with a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns. The bullets struck one adult, and at least three children, including a six-year-old who was shot twice. Then the gunman was shot and killed by police. KCRTV reported this eye witness account:
"Coy Ferreira, whose daughter is a kindergarten student, was dropping his daughter off for class just before 8 a.m. when he heard what sounded like a firecracker. A school secretary ran out and yelled for the kids to get in the classrooms because someone was shooting at the school.
Ferreira said he ran into a classroom with 14 students. He said the series of shots came through the classroom windows, hitting one student. Ferreria said a young boy was shot in the foot and the chest. When he spoke to us, he said the child was alert and talking. He said another student in an adjacent classroom was shot under the arm. That child was also conscious.
Ferreira said there were two gunmen. He saw one of them, a man in his 30's-40's dressed in green camo running away from the school after the shooting."
Another witness, Tiffany, who runs the coffee shop near the school, says she heard everything:
"'We heard multiple shots, starting with about 10, and proceeding to about 90 shots, of a high powered some kind of rifle sounding. 'We heard a man and children screaming from my location, I'm about three blocks from the school, I could hear people screaming at the school."
Police have not confirmed a second shooter, but they say the school is secure, and that the surviving children are safe. A number of victims were removed from the scene by helicopter and ambulance. The conditions of the three children shot - as well as anyone else injured - are not yet known.
This tragedy comes less than than two months after the biggest mass shooting in United States history, at a country music festival in Las Vegas. The world will send their thoughts and prayers, but will anything be done about gun control? Will President Trump say this event is only a "mental health" issue, and has "nothing to do with guns," again? Time will tell.