UPDATED – BALTIMORE (CNS) — Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California, asked his brother bishops meeting in Baltimore to pray for the victims of the nation’s latest shooting tragedy.
The bishops were gathered for the second day of their annual fall assembly Nov. 14. Early that morning in Northern California, a gunman opened fire at random locations, including near a grade school, in a rural area, leaving at least four people dead and at least 10 others injured.
AP reported that sheriff’s deputies fatally shot the gunman, who was later identified as Kevin Neal, 43. He was the fifth fatality in the incident. At least two children were among those being treated for injuries.
The Tehama County Sheriff’s Office said that it was dealing with seven crime scenes, according to AP. Tehama County is one of several counties that comprise the Sacramento Diocese.
California Gov. Jerry Brown in a statement said he and first lady Anne Gust Brown “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.”
Law enforcement officials had not yet determined the gunman’s motive, but AP reported that Neal had a dispute with neighbors in Rancho Tehama, a rural community about 120 miles north of Sacramento. He shot and killed two people there, then got into a vehicle and drove to various locations where he shot people at random.
One of his targets was the Rancho Tehama School and he shot into the building, but AP said officials there acted quickly to put the school on lockdown so he could not enter. One child was injured by a bullet and another by broken glass.