Four people were killed and at least two children injured after a man opened fire at multiple locations over the course of 45 minutes in Northern California on Tuesday, authorities said. The suspected shooter, who was not immediately identified, was killed by officers.
No children were among the four victims who were killed in the shooting that unfolded in at least seven locations in the Rancho Tahema area, Assistant Tehama County Sheriff Phil Johnston said.
Authorities received 911 calls of shooting at multiple sites, including the Rancho Tehama Elementary School, on Tuesday morning.
It was “very clear” early on that “we had a subject that was randomly picking targets,” Johnston said. The suspect did “several random drive-by shootings of residences” in the area on Tuesday, he added. However, authorities said they did not know what the suspect’s motives were.
Authorities were aware of a domestic violence incident reported by neighbors that involved the suspected shooter, according to Johnston. The suspect was also involved in an “ongoing dispute in the neighborhood” and was known to law enforcement, he said.
One male student at the elementary school was hit by gunfire and transported to the local hospital for treatment, Johnston said. A woman and her son were shot while they were driving to the school in their truck, and were being treated in the hospital.
Johnston said that 10 people were being treated for injuries at local hospitals and their conditions were not known.
“This is a tragic day for all of us. There were children involved,” Johnston told reporters. He said “a number of students” were medically evacuated from the school.
A spokesperson for the Corning Unified School District told BuzzFeed News that there were “confirmed injuries” at the school. Five patients were transported to the Enloe Medical Center, including three children and one adult, a spokesperson said. All five were treated and released, the center said.
Officials said they recovered a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns from the shooter. The firearms do not appear to be illegal, Johnston said.
In a statement, California Gov. Jerry Brown said he was “saddened to hear about today’s violence in Tehama County, which shockingly involved schoolchildren.”
Coy Ferreira told KRCTV that he heard what sounded like firecrackers as he was dropping his daughter — who is in kindergarten — at the school. Ferreira said that a school secretary ran out and yelled for the children to get in their classrooms.
“I was walking my child to the classroom because they blew the whistle for the first bell, and when that first whistle blew it sounded like a firecracker went off and we all stopped and were stunned,” Ferreira said. “Then, like a minute later, there were three more shots fired.”
After running into a classroom with 14 students, Ferreira told KRCTV that a series of shots were fired through the classroom windows, hitting one student.
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