The woman who was allegedly stabbed by the man accused of shooting up a remote Northern California town, killing five and injuring 10 more, has spoken about the terrifying ordeal that she says prompted her to move to a different part of the state.
Hailey Poland, a former resident of Rancho Tehama, told CBS 13 that she was walking with her boyfriend’s mother past Kevin Neal’s home in January when he came out of the house and attacked her.
Woman Stabbed By Tehama County Mass Shooter In January Speaks Out https://t.co/ORCYr5P5an
— Good Day Sacramento (@GoodDaySac) November 16, 2017
“He used to be a nice guy, but he just literally — with a snap of a finger — went crazy, and his eyes went from blue to black,” Poland told the news station.
She said she tried to fight him off for 15 minutes while he continued to stab her, and was sure was trying to kill her.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Neal had been arrested on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and was out on bail at the time of Tuesday’s mass shooting.
“He bailed out two hours later,” Poland said.
Earlier reports this week indicated that Neal’s stabbing victim may have died in the mass killing, but Poland was not harmed. Her boyfriend, however, was killed.
And now Poland says she regrets not insisting her boyfriend and his mother move to Southern California with her. Although she had been granted a restraining order against Neal, she told the news station she continued to fear for her safety, and criticized local law enforcement for not taking the threat more seriously.
“This would have never happened if they would have done their job. Those people would have been there today,” she said.
“My boyfriend would have been here today, now I have to live the rest of my life with this.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, residents of the rural community over 100 miles north of Sacramento told local news reporters that they had complained about Neal’s reported harassment and habit of firing his multiple guns at all hours of the day, but said the sheriff did not appear to take their concerns seriously.
Law enforcement said at a press conference Wednesday that Neal had been ordered to surrender his firearms as part of the terms of his bail, but questions remain about how strictly that order was enforced.
Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said in the news conference that the semi-automatic rifle Neal had with him during the rampage was homemade; and that two pistols he used were registered to another person. Authorities reportedly found another homemade rifle during a search of his home.
[Feature image: Police handout]