Tehama County school shooter was legally prohibited from owning firearms; intended to gun down elementary school children

“It would’ve been a horrific bloodbath.”

The man believed to be responsible for the mass shooting in Tehama County, California, on Tuesday had been ordered to surrender his guns earlier this year.

According to court documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Kevin Neal was issued an order to to surrender his firearms on April 1, four months after he was arrested on charges of assault with a deadly weapon. As CrimeOnline previously reported, Neal was accused of stabbing a woman, and was out on bail when he drove through the remote Northern California community of Rancho Tehama, randomly shooting at people and firing his gun at an elementary school.

Five people were killed and 10 more injured before Neal was fatally shot by police. Neal’s wife was among the victims: On Wednesday, authorities found the woman shot to death and hidden under floorboards of the couple’s home. A six-year-old child was also shot, but not fatally.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said that the firearms Neal used in the shooting rampage — two pistols and a semi-automatic rifle — were not registered to him. Authorities found a second rifle during their search, and Johnson said both rifles were homemade. The pistols were registered to another individual.

Johnson also said that Neal clearly intended on doing much more harm at the Rancho Tehema Elementary School, but that staff there could hear distant gunshots earlier in his rampage and had locked down the school. Neal managed to drive through the school gates but could not enter the building. Instead, he shot into the school, injuring a boy with a bullet. That student is expected to survive, Johnson said.

“It is monumental that that school went on lockdown,” the assistant sheriff said in the news conference.

“It would’ve been a horrific bloodbath.”

Authorities have not yet identified the victims of the mass shooting.


[Feature photo: Police handout/Kevin Neal]