Tehama County Sheriff’s deputies released a statement regarding the Rancho Tehama shooting.
Below is the statement:
On Thursday, December 7, 2017, Sheriff Hencratt met with investigators and has concluded the following information:
The shooter, identified as Kevin Janson Neal, 44, acted alone. There has been no evidence or information to indicate anything other than he acted alone.
There were two law enforcement officers who exchanged gunfire with the shooter. They are identified as a Deputy Sheriff from the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office and a Police Officer from the Corning Police department. Neither were physically injured in the exchange.
The shooter was observed in a vehicle on Rancho Tehama Road firing multiple rounds from a rifle out the driver’s window, at that time, the shooter was firing at a vehicle being driven by Francisco Cardenas. Cardenas’ vehicle had fifteen bullet holes and he suffered a gunshot wound in the leg with additional shrapnel injuries from bullets ripping through his vehicle. He has survived his injuries and is recovering from his wounds.
The Corning Police Officer pursued the shooter’s vehicle west bound on Rancho Tehama Road as shots were being fired. The Officer rammed the rear of the shooters vehicle forcing it off the roadway. The shooter immediately started firing rounds at the Officer. The Officer’s vehicle was struck five times. The Sheriff’s Deputy arrived almost simultaneously and the shooter fired multiple rounds at him. The Deputy’s vehicle was struck three times. Both officers returned fire, The Corning Police Officer fired 4 rounds at the shooter and the Deputy fired eight rounds at the shooter.
After this exchange of gun fire, the shooter stopped and was found deceased in the driver’s seat of the vehicle with an obvious gunshot wound to the head.
An autopsy was performed on November 15, 2017. The evidence and examination conducted by a Forensic Pathologist concluded the shooter died as a result of a selfinflicted gunshot to the head.
The Sheriff has concluded the officers involved in the shootout acted in the defense of Mr. Cardenas, the community and themselves. Both officers were within the law and have returned to work at their perspective agencies.
Reporting Officer: Phil Johnston, Assistant Sheriff