California shooting gunman was 'paranoid,' police say

California gunman had illegal guns

The gunman who left four dead after a rampage in Northern California Tuesday had attempted to enter an elementary school during his killing spree - but was prevented because the school was on lockdown.

Neal apparently shot his wife to death Monday and cut a hole in the floorboards of their home to hide her body, Assistant Tehama County sheriff Phil Johnston told reporters.

"Two semi-automatic rifles with multi-round clips were seized", he said.

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

"The insane thing is that the neighbor has been shooting a lot of bullets lately, hundreds of rounds, large magazines", Flint said.

The Rancho Tehama Sheriff said that the staff at the school placed the building on lockdown after hearing "a series of gunshots about a quarter mile away".

Posts on social media showed Rancho Tehama Road being closed off with yellow crime tape, and students' parents stuck behind the road block. "We made it (known) that this guy is insane and he's been threatening us and everything like that".

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"We are spread thin but we have a lot of resources right now", the deputy said. "There were screams: a female screaming, a male screaming". The Tehama County Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond to HuffPost's request for comment. Other politicians, including Vice President Mike Pence, also offered their condolences.

However, because school officials had heard gunfire that morning, they hurried children and teachers inside and locked the school down, which kept the gunman outside, Johnston said. A second child and a female adult were shot in a truck, authorities said.

The Corning Elementary School District said, "School staff is commended for their courageous and professional response to this bad incident". When he would call the family in a rage, upset over something, they would tell him to go to a mental health facility and that he needed medication.

That's when Fitzpatrick said the hero custodian went into action.

As terrible as it was, this week's shooting at a Northern California elementary school could have been a lot worse, if not for the actions of a custodian.

In 2010, more than 86% of the community's residents were white, and Rancho Tehama's poverty rate was 43%, according to Census Bureau data from 2010.

Richard Fitzpatrick, superintendent of the Corning Union Elementary School District, praised all of his staff at the rural school during the community rampage by 44-year-old Kevin Neal, but singled out the courage of his head custodian while school officials were finishing a lockdown.

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