Authorities say five people have been killed and 10 injured in shootings at multiple locations in rural Northern California, and the shooter has been killed by police.
Students also were shot and wounded at a regional primary school, although police say no children are among the dead from what appeared to be ’random’, drive-by attacks.
Details were still sketchy hours after the shooting and authorities didn’t have a firm count of the wounded due to the number of places where the gunman opened fire in the community of Rancho Tehama Reserve, about 210 kilometres north of Sacramento.
Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston told a local TV station in the city of Chico that police are investigating at least seven crime scenes in and around Rancho Tehama.
Police say the gunman fired into the school from outside its grounds. No motive is yet known.
Jeanine Quist, an administrative assistant with the Corning Union Elementary School District, says no one was killed at the school but a “number” of students were shot and wounded.
The small district school is staffed by just four teachers.
Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said one student was wounded at the school and another child was shot while driving with a woman, who also was wounded.
“It was very clear at the onset that we had an individual that was randomly picking targets,” Johnston said.
He declined to release the name of the shooter but said the gunfire began with a domestic violence incident that neighbours reported.
Three people were being treated at a hospital in Redding, about 100km north of the shootings. Mercy Medical Center spokeswoman Marcy Miracle declined to provide other details about the victims or their injuries. Five others, including three children, were being treated at Enloe Medical Center in Chico, about 100km southeast of the shootings, hospital spokeswoman Nicole Johansson said.
It comes as a man says his roommate is among the victims in Northern California — and that his neighbour was the gunman.
Brian Flint told the Record Searchlight newspaper in the city of Redding that his neighbour, whom he knows only as Kevin, also stole his truck. He says he and his roommate told police that their neighbour was acting “crazy” and threatening them.
Flint says he had been shooting “hundreds of rounds” from large magazines.
“The crazy thing is that the neighbour 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.”
Local media reports the as yet unnamed shooter is ’well known’ to local police, who have been called to his address at least six times in the past year over reports of gunshots and open fires.
Authorities have recovered a semiautomatic rifle and two handguns after the shootings in the rural subdivision described on its website as a “quiet private country community” where “the people are friendly and the pace is relaxed.”