Officials in Tehama County say they're investigating at least seven crime scenes, one of which is an elementary school.
Witness Salvador Tello said he saw the gunman shoot at a truck in front of him as he dropped off his three children at school.
The school district said that before classes began, the gunman crashed a vehicle through the school's locked gate and fired dozens of shots at the school, damaging windows and walls. In an ensuing shootout, the deputies killed the man. Little is known about the incident, except that Neal was charged with assault for shooting at two female neighbors through a wooden fence while they were walking.
Two children are among the wounded Tuesday. Police said that students at Rancho Tehama Elementary School were among those transported to hospitals, but confirmed no children were among the dead. Another was struck by a bullet, while in a auto with a woman, according to Johnston.
"I am told the suspected shooter is deceased by law enforcement bullets", Johnston said.
Neal often had marathon phone calls with his mother. It turned out his neighbor was the gunman. They lived near the unnamed man and said he had been shooting a lot of rounds lately. "We made it (known) that this guy is insane and he's been threatening us and everything like that". Neal's mother said the neighbor was slightly cut after Neal grabbed a steak knife out of the hand of the neighbor who was threatening him with it.
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Joseph Raven was doing tile work with a co-worker at a Rancho Tehama home when the shooting started.
The FBI is sending some teams to assist Tehama County investigators, said Jason Wandel, chief division counsel at the FBI's Sacramento field office. Other politicians, including Vice President Mike Pence, also offered their condolences.
Johnston said officials received multiple 911 calls about gunfire at an intersection of two dirt roads. He made his children get down and slammed his vehicle into reverse. VIDEO: Officials give update on deadly NorCal shootingsThe gunman was killed after two officers engaged him, law enforcement officials said. "I have to say this incident, as tragic and as bad as it is, could have been so much worse", Johnston said, applauding the quick thinking of the school staff. "The school was able to go on lockdown very quickly and effectively, which prevented any further injury or violence".
Residents and business owners said they heard at least 100 gunshots. "I have the right to bear arms, and I will protect my son if I have to".
The school is in the Rancho Tehama Reserve, about 130 miles north of Sacramento. The largest town in the county, Red Bluff, has a population of about 14,000, according to the Census Bureau.
She and her father, who is president of the community's homeowners' association, said neighbors would complain to the sheriff's department, which referred the complaints back to the homeowners' association.