NEAR RED BLUFF, Calif. (CBS Sacramento/AP) — A gunman choosing targets at random –including an elementary school — opened fire in a rural Northern California town Tuesday, killing four people at several sites and wounding 10 others before police shot him dead, authorities said. Two children were among the wounded.
According to the CBS affiliate KHSL-TV, the shootings took place shortly after 8 a.m. in Rancho Tehama, a town about 15 miles southwest of Red Bluff and 130 miles north of Sacramento.
“It was very clear at the onset that we had an individual that was randomly picking targets,” Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said.
Johnston reports that officers were investigating at least seven crime scenes in and around Rancho Tehama Elementary School in Rancho Tehama Reserve. A domestic violence incident preceded the shooting, authorities say. Deputies have recovered a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns.
The suspect reportedly started opening fire at a home, then moved to the school, authorities said. Johnston says one child was shot at a school Tuesday, and another was shot while riding in a pickup truck with a woman who was also wounded.
“It was right about 8 a.m. we had multiple shots fired in Rancho Tehama,” Johnston said. “That evolved to multiple victims and multiple shots at the school, at the elementary school. I am told at this point the suspected shooter is deceased by law enforcement bullets, that’s what I’m told.”
Witnesses reported hearing gunshots and children screaming at the school, about five miles down a road from where the shooting is believed to have started. Jeanine Quist, an administrative assistant with the Corning Union Elementary School District, said no one was killed at the school with kindergarten through fifth grades but that a “number” of students were shot and wounded.
An official at the Enloe Medical Center in Chico says they’ve received five patients, with three having already been treated an released.
Authorities said the school was cleared and the children moved to a safe location. More than 100 law enforcement personnel were in the area helping with investigation.
“Anne and I are saddened to hear about today’s violence in Tehama County, which shockingly involved schoolchildren,” California Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement. “We offer our condolences to the families who lost loved ones and unite with all Californians in grief.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)