Five reported killed, kids injured in California shootings
SCOTT OLSON (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/Archives)
At least five people were killed and several people injured, including elementary school students after what appears to be a lone gunman drove threw the town shooting at random, according to local police officers and eyewitnesses.
"Multiple shots were fired in Rancho Tehama ,with multiple victims. I am told the suspected shooter is deceased from law enforcement bullets," a police officer was quoted as saying by local news station 7KTVB.
"I know that we have (airlifted) a number of students," Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston Johnston told KCRA television. "I know that the school's been cleared. I know that we have children that were attending school in a safe location at this time."
He added that some 100 law enforcement officers had responded to the shooting, which was reported to have begun at around 8.00am local time.
Johnson was quoted later as saying that "randomly picking targets."
The five people who were said to be killed in the incident is believed to include the gunman.
The shooting broke out at a home in Tehama County and continued at the Rancho Tehama Elementary School and other locations, authorities said.
According to local newspaper Red Bluff Daily News, the man then shot people unknown to him at two separate road junctions and later at the school.
Police are investigating five separate crime scenes in the town, which has a population of roughly 1,400, the Associated Press reported, although other outlets said there were seven locations.
Brian Flint, 27, told the newspaper that his neighbor had stolen his truck, which he used to carry out the shootings.
An unidentified man -- possibly also Flint -- told KCRA that his neighbor had shot and killed his roommate.
"The crazy thing is that the neighbor has been shooting a lot of bullets lately, hundreds of rounds, large magazines," he was quoted as saying. "This guy has been crazy, and he's been threatening us and everything. I just feel like there maybe should have been more effort put into stopping things like this."
Four people were reportedly transported by ground and helicopter to a nearby hospital, including three children.
California's governor, Edmund G. Brown Jr., reportedly released a statement expressing condolences.
"Anne and I are saddened to hear about today’s violence in Tehama County, which shockingly involved schoolchildren. We offer our condolences to the families who lost loved ones and unite with all Californians in grief."
The shooting coincides with a new flare-up of the long-running debate on America's epidemic of gun violence and the ready accessibility of high-powered weapons, less than 10 days after a gunman shot dead 26 people in a church in Texas.
More than 33,000 people die annually in the United States from gun-related deaths -- two thirds of them suicides -- according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
More to come.
AFP contributed to this report.
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