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Known Felon With Gun Goes on Shooting Rampage

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Another shooting, this one from a remote area of Northern California.  Jim Schultz reports for the Record Searchlight in Redding.

Five people are dead, including the suspect, in a mass shooting at and around a school some 15 miles southwest of Red Bluff, where at least another 10 people have been hospitalized -- some of them children.
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The Rancho Tehama Reserve -- a subdivision home to about 1,485 people -- is described on its website as a "quiet private country community" located 12 miles west of Interstate 5 between Red Bluff and Corning. The community is a place "where people are friendly and the pace is relaxed," the website reads.
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Resident Brian Flint said he got a call in the morning that his roommate was injured and that his truck had been stolen. It turned out his neighbor was the gunman, Flint said.

"The crazy thing is that the neighbor has been shooting a lot of bullets lately, hundreds of rounds, large magazines," Flint said. "We made it aware that this guy is crazy and he's been threatening us."

Living near the gunman was "hell," Flint said, and the man was a known felon who often harassed him and his neighbors.

If the as-yet-unidentified man was a known felon and neighbors notified law enforcement that he was armed, shooting hundreds of rounds, and threatening people, why wasn't he in jail?  It is much too early to point fingers, of course, but this is a question that needs answering.

Update:  Fox News reports that the murderer was Kevin Neal, who was free on bail after stabbing his neighbor last January.  Since then neighbors had reported several times to police that he had been firing guns in his yard.  The day before the shooting rampage, police had responded to his home on a domestic violence call.  Domestic violence is not considered a serious crime under California's Realignment.  In a different state, It is likely that he would have been in jail for his prior offenses and illegal possession of firearms.     

2 Comments

20/20 Hindsight on reaction:

Good:
Officials at Rancho Tehama School a quarter of a mile away heard the shots and immediately went on lockdown. The school was the shooter's third stop, and he became frustrated when he couldn't get into the school, Johnston said. Neal
shot 20 to 30 rounds at the school, and went into a bathroom, the only part
of the school not locked down.

Bad:
He was at the school for 6 minutes, then drove off and continued to shoot at people
in various parts of the community.

[In 6 minutes, had I or any of my friends at the VFW been allowed to carry at the school, one could have engaged the shooter, shot out his tires, and possibly defeated the threat.]

20/20 Hindsight on prevention:

1] Asst. Sheriff Johnston said the suspect also was involved in a domestic violence situation Monday

2] Neal had been arrested in January for stabbing a woman and robbing another woman, both of who[m] later got a restraining order against him. Johnston said
the woman Neal stabbed was killed in Tuesday's rampage.

3] Neal was released on $160,000 bail after that arrest… Court records also
show Neal had misdemeanor hit and run case in 2013. BAIL ? ? ?

4]Prosecutors also alleged Neal fired a gun - possibly an AR-15 Bushmaster
rifle - during the attack, according to court documents. The rifle was
specifically mentioned as illegal in a criminal complaint filed earlier this year.

5]The property Neal lived at … Google Earth images show numerous marijuana grows in the neighborhood.

[All Bad]

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