Tuesday, September 22, 2020
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N. Calif. shooting spree ends at an elem. school

A one-man shooting spree in Northern California has left four adults dead and at least 10 people injured, including at least two children, the New York Times reports.

Just before 8 AM Tuesday, police started receiving 9-1-1 calls about gunshots being fired about a mile south of Rancho Tehama Elementary School, located on Stagecoach Road in an unincorporated community of about 1,500 people about 130 miles north of Sacramento. The gunman, whose identity was not immediately reported, was shot by police after he fired several rounds into the school. The male gunman, who was carrying a semiautomatic rifle and two handguns, was killed.

“We have information that he did several random drive-by shootings of residences” before reaching the school, the paper quoted Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston as saying. The gunman, he said, “fired repeatedly at the school before driving off,” and “was fleeing from the area of the school when he was engaged.”

At least four people were killed, none of whom were children. A woman driving a pickup truck near the scene and a child as a passenger were also wounded, CBS News reports.

Five people, at least three of whom are children, were transported to Enloe Medical Center, in Chico, according to the CBS affiliate. It wasn’t immediately known whether they were students at the elementary school.

The Times quoted Governor Jerry Brown as saying in a statement: “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.”

Effect on schools

Rancho Tehama Elementary serves about 100 students in kindergarten through fifth grade and is part of the Corning Union Elementary School District, which released the following statement after the shooting:

This morning prior to the beginning of classes, a gunman crashed his vehicle through the school’s locked gate and fired dozens of shots at Rancho Tehama Elementary School.

The gunman shot out windows and through walls. In addition to injuries from broken glass, a student on campus was wounded by gunfire. We are informed that the student is in stable condition. We do not have any further information regarding students’ current medical condition.

The District has accounted for all of the students and staff present at the time of the incident. Parents have been notified. Counselors will be made available to meet with students and staff.

Out of respect for their privacy and to protect the confidentiality of their personal information, the District is not authorized to release the names of students, parents, or staff.

Rancho Tehama Elementary School is closed until further notice in order for law enforcement to complete its investigation and to make necessary repairs. The District will make alternate arrangements for student instruction.

School staff is commended for their courageous and professional response to this terrible incident. The school was able to go on lockdown very quickly and effectively, which prevented any further injury or violence.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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