The suspected shooter who opened fire near an elementary school in Northern California Tuesday, killing four, was previously wanted for assaulting two neighbors, a prosecutor said.
Kevin Janson Neal, 43, was armed with a semiautomatic weapon and two handguns when he began firing — apparently at random — shortly before 8 a.m. in Tehama County, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Neal was being prosecuted for assault with a deadly weapon and a stabbing that involved two of his neighbors earlier this year, Tehama District Attorney Gregg Cohen told the newspaper.
The prosecutor said it wasn’t clear if Neal had shot one of his neighbors Tuesday. Cohen added that he sometimes used the last name “Smith,” according to the paper.
Neal was arrested in February for assault with a deadly weapon and other charges, according to police logs cited by the Red Bluff Daily News. His bail was set at $160,000, the paper reported.
A neighbor of the gunman said the man was shooting off many rounds outside in the days before the incident. Police logs also say that neighbors reported hearing four to five shots on Dec. 13, 2016.
Rancho Tehama Reserve resident Brian Flint said he got a call in the morning from someone who told him his roommate was injured and that his truck had been stolen. His neighbor was the shooter, Flint said.
“The crazy thing is that the neighbor has been shooting a lot of bullets lately, hundreds of rounds, large magazines,” he told the Record Searchlight. “We made it aware that this guy is crazy and he’s been threatening us.”
Flint said the man was a known felon, who often harassed him and his neighbors.
Neal’s shooting spree wounded two children — including one shot at a school and another riding in a pickup truck with a woman who was also struck by gunfire, authorities said.
Neal later shot and killed himself.
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