After California shooting, residents seek police presence

A man in the area said his roommate was among the victims in Northern California and that his neighbor was the gunman.

Details were still sketchy hours after the shooting and authorities didn't have a firm count of the wounded due to the number of places where the gunman opened fire in the community of Rancho Tehama Reserve, about 130 miles north of Sacramento, Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said. Many students were still outside as parents dropped their kids off and the morning bell was about to ring.

The gunman did shoot a 6-year-old student named Alejandro "Alex" Hernandez in the boy's chest and right foot while he indiscriminately sprayed gunfire at school buildings. "Then, like a minute later, there were three more shots fired".

"The reason that I'm standing here today and I'm able to speak to you without breaking down and crying is because of the heroic efforts of our school staff", Fitzpatrick said at a Wednesday afternoon press conference. Teachers and staff members began hurrying the children into classrooms and the office.

A shooting spanning multiple locations in Northern California has left four people dead.

He said that two officers shot at the suspect upon encountering him, and have since been removed from the scene. In the foreground of the video is the Rancho Tehama Airport.

Fitzpatrick said according to surveillance video that he had watched, Neal crashed through the school's fence and gate with his truck, then jumped out with his weapon.


Katrina Gierman, who lives near the school, said she heard gunshots when she went outside.

The head custodian was busy hustling students into a classroom when he poked his head around a building and drew the attention of the gunman.

Neal's former lawyer has come forward, saying his client had been fired several weeks ago for displaying "bizarre behavior".

Fitzpatrick said between eight and 10 seconds elapsed between the time the lockdown was complete and when the shooter appeared in the school's quad.

But the custodian wasn't the only hero.

St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in the community of Red Bluff received two patients, including one who was stabilized and transferred to another facility, spokeswoman Amanda Harter said. One child remained in critical condition. Others were hit by flying glass.

Johnston said that before law enforcement officers killed Neal, the gunman wounded several children, striking one of the students at Rancho Tehama Elementary School during his rampage. "I truly believe that we would have had a horrific bloodbath in that school if that school had not taken that action when they did".


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