sunny.png
Thursday August 22nd, 2019 9:29AM

California gunman who killed 4, wounded 10 was out on bail

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

RANCHO TEHAMA RESERVE, Calif. (AP) — The gunman behind a rampage in Northern California was out on bail charged with stabbing a neighbor, others had complained about him firing hundreds of rounds from his house, and he had been the subject of a domestic violence call the day before the attack.

Yet Kevin Neal was free and able to use a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns Tuesday to shoot 14 people, killing four, in seven different locations across his rural community, including an elementary school, before he died in a shootout with police.

It's not yet clear what the terms of Neal's bail were, and whether he would have been allowed to possess and fire the weapons on his property at the end of a dirt road in Rancho Tehama Reserve. Nor did sheriff's officials give details on the domestic violence call.

But his many contacts with authorities raised questions of why he was out of custody and able to go on the 45-minute rampage that began with the killing of two neighbors in an apparent act of revenge before he went looking for random victims.

Cristal Caravez and her father live across a ravine from the roadway where the gunman and his first victims lived.

She said they and others heard constant gunfire from the area of the gunman's house, but couldn't say for sure it was him firing.

"You could hear the yelling. He'd go off the hinges," she said. The shooting, "it would be during the day, during the night, I mean, it didn't matter."

She and her father, who is president of the homeowners association, said neighbors would complain to the sheriff's department, which referred the complaints back to the homeowners association.

"The sheriff wouldn't do anything about it," said Juan Caravez.

The gunman's sister, Sheridan Orr, said her brother had struggled with mental illness throughout his life and at times had a violent temper.

She said Neal had "no business" owning firearms.

Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said the shooter was facing charges of assaulting one of the feuding neighbors in January and that she had a restraining order against him.

Johnston did not comment on the shooter's access to firearms.

Johnston declined to identify the shooter until his relatives were notified, but he confirmed the gunman was charged with assault in January and had a restraining order placed against him. The district attorney, Gregg Cohen, told the Sacramento Bee he is prosecuting a man named Kevin Neal in that case.

Neal's mother told The Associated Press her son, who was a marijuana grower, was in a long-running dispute with neighbors he believed were cooking methamphetamine.

The mother, who spoke on condition she be named only as Anne because she fears for her safety, lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she raised Neal. She said she posted his $160,000 bail and spent $10,000 on a lawyer after he was arrested in January for stabbing a neighbor. Neal's mother said the neighbor was slightly cut after Neal grabbed a steak knife out of the hand of the neighbor who was threatening him with it.

She wept as she told The Associated Press she spoke to Neal on the phone on Monday.

"Mom it's all over now," she said he told her. "I have done everything I could do and I am fighting against everyone who lives in this area."

She said Neal apologized to her during their brief conversation, she thought for all the money she had spent on him, saying he was "on a cliff" and the people around him were trying to "execute" him.

"I think the motive of getting even with his neighbors and when it went that far — he just went on a rampage," Johnston said.

Police said surveillance video shows the shooter unsuccessfully trying to enter a nearby elementary school after quick-thinking staff members locked the outside doors and barricaded themselves inside when they heard gunshots.

Johnston said the gunman spent about six minutes shooting into Rancho Tehama Elementary School before driving off to continue shooting elsewhere. Johnston said one student was shot but is expected to survive.

He said the 45-minute rampage ended when a patrol car rammed the stolen vehicle the shooter was driving and killed him in a shootout.

Johnston said officials received multiple 911 calls about gunfire at an intersection of two dirt roads. Minutes later, more calls reporting shots flooded in from different locations, including the school.

Witnesses reported hearing gunshots and children screaming at the school, which has one class of students from kindergarten through fifth grade.

The shootings occurred in the rural community of Rancho Tehama Reserve, a homeowners association in a sparsely populated area of rolling oak woodlands dotted with grazing cattle about 130 miles north of Sacramento.

Many there live in poverty, but others are better off.

"It's not a bad community at all," said Harry Garcia, who was minding his parents' convenience store La Fortuna Market. "Some people keep their properties nice- some don't. They rough it out here. Some go with minimum stuff. Some don't even have power out here."

___

Elias reported from San Francisco. Associated Press writers Jocelyn Gecker, Janie Har and Olga Rodriguez in San Francisco, Michael Balsamo in Los Angeles and researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York also contributed to this story.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Ohio calls off execution after failing to find inmate's vein
Ohio has called off the execution of an ailing 69-year-old killer after the executioners couldn't find a vein to insert the IV that delivers the lethal drugs
5:16AM ( 34 minutes ago )
Quick-thinking school staff saved kids at California school
As a gunman unleashed bullets outside, quick-thinking school officials saved dozens of children by whisking them inside and into lockdown mode
3:41AM ( 2 hours ago )
Consumers' market remake if 'Obamacare' mandate repealed
Millions are expected to forgo coverage if Congress repeals the unpopular requirement that Americans get health insurance, gambling that they won't get sick and boosting premiums for others
3:30AM ( 2 hours ago )
U.S. News
WADA decision damages Russia's hopes for Winter Olympics
Russia's chances of participating at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in February were hit after the World Anti-Doping Agency decided not to reinstate the suspended Russian Anti-Doping Agency
5:40AM ( 10 minutes ago )
France says Hariri accepts invitation, will come within days
The French president's office says that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has accepted an invitation to come to France after his surprise resignation from Saudi Arabia
5:30AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Cambodia's top court orders opposition party dissolved
Cambodia's Supreme Court has ordered the country's main opposition party be dissolved, in one of the biggest blows yet to democratic aspirations in the Southeast Asian state
5:22AM ( 28 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Zimbabwe calm but tense as Mugabe is urged to go peacefully
Zimbabwe calm but tense as Mugabe is urged to step down peacefully; troops remain in streets
4:20AM ( 1 hour ago )
GOP muscling tax bill through House; hits senator roadblock
Republicans are muscling their massive tax bill through the House, with GOP leaders exuding confidence they have the votes. But the tax overhaul hit a roadblock Wednesday as Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin became the first GOP senator to say he opposes it.
3:50AM ( 2 hours ago )
US opposes Nazi speech, but will vote no at UN to banning it
State Department officials say the U.S. this week plans to vote against a yearly U.N. resolution that condemns the glorification of Nazism
3:43AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Scherzer, Kluber win Cy Young Awards by wide margins
Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals has won the NL Cy Young Award and Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians has won the AL prize.
11:45PM ( 6 hours ago )
Cowboys' Elliott drops appeal, will serve rest of 6-game ban
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has dropped his appeal with five games remaining on his six-game suspension over alleged domestic violence
11:45PM ( 6 hours ago )
Fox News' Hannity decides not to pass judgment on Roy Moore
Fox News' Sean Hannity, after giving Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore a 24-hour deadline to rebut accusations of assault and child molestation, says it's not up to him to decide
11:11PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Online National News
The Latest: 7 hospital staff on unpaid leave after escape
Employees of a Hawaii psychiatric hospital will be placed on unpaid leave for 30 days while authorities investigate how a patient who was tried for murder escaped and flew to California over the weekend
10:20PM ( 7 hours ago )
The Latest: Moore says he never dated 'underage girls'
Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore tells Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity he never dated "underage girls" but won't be commenting further
7:24PM ( 10 hours ago )
Police knew 'madman' had illegal guns before killing rampage
A day after a killing rampage that left five people dead in California, police faced accusations of having previously turned a blind eye to the troubled shooter who was known for firing off guns despite a court order that barred him from owning firearms
7:24PM ( 10 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Thousands mourn 8 family members killed in Texas church
A train of hearses carried eight family members killed in a mass shooting at a small Texas church from a huge public funeral Wednesday to a modest cemetery on the edge of the town where they were slain.
6:52PM ( 10 hours ago )
Indians ace Corey Kluber easily wins 2nd AL Cy Young Award
Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians has easily won his second American League Cy Young Award
6:29PM ( 11 hours ago )
Trump keeps silent as Moore-Alabama storm grows louder
President Donald Trump kept resolutely quiet and out of the fight Wednesday as national Republicans called ever more intensely for Roy Moore to abandon his Alabama campaign for the U.S. Senate
6:13PM ( 11 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Ohio calls off execution after failing to find inmate's vein
Ohio has called off the execution of an ailing 69-year-old killer after the executioners couldn't find a vein to insert the IV that delivers the lethal drugs
5:16AM ( 34 minutes ago )
Quick-thinking school staff saved kids at California school
As a gunman unleashed bullets outside, quick-thinking school officials saved dozens of children by whisking them inside and into lockdown mode
3:41AM ( 2 hours ago )
Consumers' market remake if 'Obamacare' mandate repealed
Millions are expected to forgo coverage if Congress repeals the unpopular requirement that Americans get health insurance, gambling that they won't get sick and boosting premiums for others
3:30AM ( 2 hours ago )
GOP braces for extended clash in Alabama
Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore and his allies on the ground in Alabama are bracing for an extended conflict _ not with Democrats, but with their own party in Washington
3:19AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Exclusive: 17 escapes from Hawaii hospital since 2010
AP Exclusive: More than a dozen escapes have occurred over the past eight years at a Hawaii psychiatric hospital where a patient described as dangerous walked off the grounds and made it to California before he was captured this week.
3:18AM ( 2 hours ago )