According to reports, multiple people have been killed and several more injured in a shooting near a California elementary school in Rancho Tehama County on Tuesday morning. Local ABC affiliate KRCR reports that Coy Ferreira, a witness who was dropping his daughter off for kindergarten when the shooting began, heard the shots begin just before 8 a.m. PT, and saw at least two children who were struck by bullets. Ferreira told the station that both of the children ― one shot twice in the foot and chest, and another shot under the arm ― were both conscious despite their injuries.
Law enforcement officials have instructed residents of Rancho Tehama to stay inside their homes due to the shootings. In an interview with members of the local media tweeted out by Sara Stinson of Action News Now, Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston in Rancho Tehama described the situation as including "multiple scenes," specifically "at least five scenes that I've been told about." He also stated that he'd been told the suspected gunman had been killed by police gunfire.
It's important to remember, however, that early reports and statements can sometimes be unreliable in the immediate aftermath of chaotic, violent, and deadly events such as these. As such, more clarity about the full scope of the incident, the suspected shooter, and the victims should become much clearer as time goes by.
I know that we have medevaced a number of students, I know that the school's been cleared, I know that we have children that were attending school in a safe location at this time. You now know really what I know. We have about 100 law enforcement personnel in Rancho Tehama right now, with multiple, multiple scenes. We have about five scenes that I've been told about.
A Corning school district official reportedly told NBC affiliate WDSU that "multiple students" were airlifted from Rancho Tehama elementary school following the shooting, and least five people have been confirmed dead so farfiv. It hasn't yet been made clear whether any children were slain in the attack, nor what, if anything, motivated the deadly shooting.
Rancho Tehama, part of California's Tehama County, sits in a distinctly rural northern region of the state, nearly 200 miles north of the Bay Area. As of the 2010 census, it was a relatively tiny community, with a population of just 1,485.
According to NBC Bay Area, the sheriff's department has stated that the incident began at a home, then moved to the elementary school. In another video Stinson posted to Twitter on Tuesday morning, a reported witness to the shooting described his roommate being slain by the suspected gunman. It's important to note that his story contains details not yet confirmed or corroborate by law enforcement.
The crazy thing is is that the neighbor has been shooting a lot of bullets lately, hundreds of rounds, large magazines. We just, we've made it aware that this guy's been crazy, and he's been threatening us and everything like that. ... I just feel like there should've been more effort put into potentially stopping things like this.
When asked about the condition of his roommate, the witness delivered the extremely sad news.
"Unfortunately, he's not good, he's dead. He didn't make it. And for his family and everything like that, I feel bad. I'll be there for them. I don't know," the witness said.
According to CBS News, the figure of five people confirmed dead includes the suspected shooter, according to an unnamed sheriff's official. The official also concurred with Johnston's statement about there being various locations visited by the suspected shooter, confirming that police are spread out between several different scenes.
According to The Los Angeles Times, law enforcement authorities believe the shooting began as a "domestic violence incident," and at one point involved the suspected gunman firing bullets seemingly at random, possibly in some sort of angry attack on his neighbors. That report somewhat corroborates the story told by one of the witnesses ― who described the gunman as his "crazy" neighbor ― in the video embedded above.
CNN also reports that the suspected shooter opened fire on different targets with no apparent rhyme or reason. One of the victims is a mother who was shot while driving her kids to school; she's reportedly being treated for life-threatening injuries. As of the time of this writing, no children have died, although some were shot and are still receiving medical care.