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Rancho Tehama shooter died from self-inflicted gunshot

"This individual was going up and down the road and shooting at random structures, so there could be someone injured that we don't know of yet," said Johnston.

Posted: Dec 8, 2017 4:53 PM

"I felt a shake on my car, I saw a guy in a truck pull up to me and pull out his rifle," said victim and mother of 3, Tiffany Phommathep. "I started screaming and I kept saying to myself, I need to stay awake, I need to stay awake."

It's a tragedy that will never be forgotten, when Rancho Tehama man, 44-year-old Kevin Janson Neal, killed his wife, shot at an elementary school and killed 4 other local residents at random.

"This was every administrator's nightmare, in a school system, you live under the threat of this happening," said Corning Union Elementary School District Superintendent Rick Fitzpatrick.

"I really truly believe we would have had a bloodbath at the school, if that school hadn't taken the action it did," said Asst. Sheriff Phil Johnston.

Nearly one month after it all happened that fateful November 14th morning, the Tehama County Sheriff Dave Hencratt has issued his final report, taking an in-depth look at the last leg of the shooting spree.

The report indicates Neal was seen driving a truck down Rancho Tehama Road, firing at a vehicle driven by a man named Francisco Cardenas.

Neal's bullets struck Cardenas in the leg, and hit the man's vehicle 15 times.

"This individual was going up and down the road and shooting at random structures, so there could be someone injured that we don't know of yet," said Johnston.

A Corning Police officer got behind Neal's truck as it headed westbound and rammed him, running him off the road.

As a Tehama County Sheriff's Deputy arrived on scene, Neal fired multiple rounds at both of them, hitting the officer's vehicle 5 times.

"Two semi-automatic rifles with a number of multi-round clips, these firearms were manufactured illegally by him at his home," said Johnston.

Both officers returned fire, four rounds from the officer, 8 from the deputy.

At this point, the shooter stopped, and they found him dead in his car, with a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.

The sheriff concludes that both officers acted in defense of Mr. Cardenas, the community, and themselves.

"Just because a tragedy happens, doesn't mean you can stop loving each other, can't stop trusting each other," said Alondra Mendoza, a cousin of one of Neal's vicitms.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 796436

Reported Deaths: 15291
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A weak disturbance passed over northern California early this morning, but as expected, it only brought some gusty wind, a few clouds, slightly cooler weather, and no rain. Much bigger changes to our weather will occur this weekend.
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