CORNING, Calif. (CN) – A gunman armed with a semiautomatic rifle and two handguns killed four people and injured 10 others Tuesday in a rural Northern California town, “randomly picking targets” including schoolchildren before being fatally shot by police.
Law enforcement officials said the gunman opened fire on seven sites including an elementary school in Rancho Tehama Reserve, an unincorporated community approximately 135 miles north of Sacramento. Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said the school has been cleared but that several children have been taken to nearby hospitals.
None of the known dead are children.
“It was very clear early on that we had a subject that was randomly picking targets,” Johnston told reporters. “We know that we have at least five dead including the suspected shooter. We are aware that there was a domestic-violence incident as reported by neighbors involving the suspected shooter.”
Neighbors said the suspected shooter had been shooting “hundreds of rounds lately” and threatening violence. Brian Flint told Action News Now that his roommate was killed Tuesday and described the suspect as “crazy.”
“I just feel like maybe there should have been more effort put into potentially stopping things like this,” Flint said.
The state’s Democratic leaders offered prayers to the shooting victims and called for “immediate action.”
“Anne and I are saddened to hear about today’s violence in Tehama County, which shockingly involved schoolchildren,” 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.”
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, an outspoken proponent of gun control, tweeted about the proximity of today’s shooting to recent carnage across the country.
“Been nine days since 26 people were gunned down in a church, 44 since 58 were killed at a concert and now at least four are dead, and shots have been fired at a California elementary school,” Newsom said. “This epidemic has stolen too many lives.”
Officials have not released the shooter’s identity and added they do not yet have an accurate casualty count. Johnston said two officers were involved in fatally shooting the gunman.