Rancho Tehama is a small rural community in Northern California. It is mostly wild land with the 1500 citizens who live there often barely eking out a living on small farms. On November 14, 2017, tragedy struck this tiny community. A deranged man went on a shooting spree that rocked Rancho Tehama to the core.
Kevin Janson Neal was always a bit off. He had mental illness and anger management issues his entire life. By 2017 he was in his 40s and appeared to be deteriorating quickly. Police were called to his home on several occasions regarding reported gunshots. In January 2017, he was arrested for stabbing his neighbor and robbing her of a cell phone. She was probably trying to call the police on him and he retaliated by stealing the phone. As a result of this case he was ordered to turn over his guns. Neal produced a single pistol and advised the court that he had no other guns.
On November 13, 2017, Neal snapped. He killed his wife and hid her body in their home. Neal then loaded up several ghost guns that he had made and proceeded to his neighbor’s home. He opened fire, killing the two residents and stealing their pickup truck. He began ramming vehicles and randomly firing at passersby. Teachers at a nearby elementary school heard the gunfire and went into lockdown procedures. Neal rammed through the gate of the school and attempted to enter. Failing to gain access due to the lockdown, Neal began randomly firing through windows, injuring several students. He then stole another truck and continued on his mobile shooting rampage.
An Officer from the Corning Police Department, several miles away was responding to assist local sheriffs and spotted Neal. He rammed the truck with his patrol car. A wild shootout immediately ensued. Additional officers arrived on scene. Neal, apparently seeing no way out, shot himself in the head. He had killed 5 people and injured 18 more in his deranged rage. The heroic actions of the officers and the quick thinking of the school staff undoubtedly saved numerous lives.