By JUSTICE CAMPBELL
Assault rifle-wielding madman, Kevin Neal, shot his wife to death and stuffed her under the floorboards of their rural home before descending on a senseless rampage less than 24 hours later. Neal then went to Rancho Tehama Elementary School on Tuesday morning and sprayed the place with bullets, along with several other locations. Neal was then shot to death by police. He wounded 10 people, including seven children. One child remains in critical condition at a local hospital.
Assistant Tehama County sheriff Phil Johnston told reporters Wednesday morning that Neal, 43, apparently shot his wife to death Monday and cut a hole in the floorboards of their home to hide her body. Johnston said, ”He shot her at some point, probably late Monday…put her body in the floor and covered her up. We believe that’s probably what started this whole event.”
On Monday neighbors admitted to police that they heard quarreling at the Neal home. Oddly enough, no one alerted authorities. Johnston said, ”They thought it was a domestic violence incident between Mr. Neal and his wife. It was unreported to the sheriff’s office, no one called it in.” This wasn’t the first time neighbors experienced disturbances from the Neal home. Johnston’s deputies had been called to the Neal home multiple times in the past after neighbors reported gunshots coming from the house.
Johnston said, ”Every time we responded we would try to make contact with Mr. Neal. He was not law enforcement friendly, he would not come to the door. His house was arranged in a manner where we couldn’t detect him being there.”
Neal had apparently obtained two semi-automatic rifles legally but manipulated in some sort of illegal manner. After Tuesday’s shooting, cops seized these two weapons and Johnston declined to elaborate on the matter any further.
Oddly enough family members and authorities reported that Neal had a documented history of mental health issues and was out on bail for stabbing a neighbor in January. Therefore it is unclear and completely suspicious how Neal could’ve obtained these military-grade weapons at all.
Neal’s family said that he moved to Tehama from North Carolina to try and dampen his severe bouts of paranoia and get closer to nature but that didn’t seem to help him. It was also stated that Neal often had marathon phone calls with his mother, ranting about his neighbors running a suspected meth lab out of their home.
Sheridan Orr, the gunman’s older sister told the Daily News Wednesday morning, “He would get wound up and I think she spent a lot of time calming him down. He would be irrational, irate and uncontrollable, and scream and yell. It was difficult to manage him. I don’t know how she put up with it.” On Monday, he told his mother “I’ve done everything I could do and I am fighting against everyone who lives in this area.” It was only a day later that Neal killed his wife and took an assault rifle and two handguns on a 45-minute rampage through Rancho Tehama — a small town 135 miles north of Sacramento. He carried back up ammunition in a military style assault vest during the carnage.
Authorities said around 7:50 a.m., it is believed that Neal began the rampage outside his home fatally shooting his roommate and a neighbor. He then stole a victim’s white pickup truck and drove toward the nearby elementary school. He began firing at random out the window of the truck while en route.
Just before 8 a.m., Neal rammed the stolen truck through a school gate right before squeezing off nearly 100 rounds, explained witnesses. Neal killed two more people and wounded several adults and children on their way to class. The school stalled the massacre by initiating an emergency lockdown system just as Neal set his sight on the school. This horror show would have been far worse if Neal had gotten inside the school. Luckily cops arrived minutes after the school lock down and shot Neal to death.
Johnston said, ”It is monumental that that school went on lockdown. I really truly believe we could have had a horrific bloodbath at that school.” It’s interesting how the brutal Tehama assault came nearly five years after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead, and just nine days after Devin Kelley killed 26 worshippers at the First Baptist Curch in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Is there a common thread that links these senseless massacre’s together or are they just random acts of violence by unstable humans at the end of their rope?
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