Neighbors Say Latest CA Spree Killer Was ‘Off the Hinges’

Kevin Neal, 43, was facing trial in January on assault and other charges in connection with a long-running dispute with his neighbors in a rural northern California town. His 45-minute shooting ended with his death when police rammed his truck and exchanged shots in a fierce rolling gun battle.

The man who went on a shooting spree Tuesday in Rancho Tehama, Calif., killing four and wounding 10, was being prosecuted for assault stemming from an attack on neighbors in January and possession of an AR-15 assault weapon, reports the Red Bluff Daily News. Kevin Janson Neal, 43, was arrested Jan. 31 on charges of assault with a deadly weapon. He was set to stand trial in January 2018 for assault with a deadly weapon and other charges. Tehama County District Attorney Gregg Cohen said Neal had a long-running dispute with his neighbors. He allegedly shot through a wooden fence at two female neighbors in the January incident, then jumped the fence and stabbed one of them. The Associated Press said Neal was a marijuana grower. Neighbors in the town 125 north of Sacramento described him as “off the hinges.”

While Tuesday’s shooting began at 7:52 a.m. near his home, it was not confirmed whether the neighbors were among the victims. Neal eventually fired shots at seven locations, including Rancho Tehama Elementary School. After hearing shots nearby, school staff members put the school on lockdown, and when the shooter arrived–crashing his truck through security gates–he was unable to get into the building, authorities said. Neal fired at a number of classrooms, injuring one or two students. He left the school after six minutes and continued his rampage in other locations, apparently firing rounds from an assault rifle and two handguns at randomly selected victims. Neal was killed 45 minutes after his spree began when police rammed his truck and exchanged shots in a fierce rolling gun battle.