At least five people were killed and two children wounded when a gunman carrying a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns opened fire at an elementary school in Northern California, seemingly choosing targets at random.
The Tehama County Sheriff’s Office claimed that while investigators have not yet determined a motive, they believe that the rampage began as a “domestic violence incident,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
Shots began to ring out at around 8:00 am at Rancho Tehama Elementary School, as parents were still dropping their children off for the day.
“It was all over in about 45 minutes,” Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston told the newspaper, who suggested that civilians were involved in stopping the shooting before more lives were claimed.
“I have to tell you I am personally grateful to the men who engaged this suspect. It’s a tragic event, but I am personally grateful for engaging a terrible, a mass murderer really. That’s what he is,” he continued.
The gunman, whose name is yet to be released, was shot dead by sheriff’s deputies. Authorities have now established seven crime scenes, while ten victims were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. No children were killed in the attacks.
One child was injured when the gunman fired several rounds into the school, while another was injured when he opened fire on a truck driven by a woman who was driving her kids to school. She sustained “very life-threatening wounds,” Johnston said.
In a statement, California Gov. Jerry Brown expressed his sympathies for the families of the victims.
“Anne and I are saddened to hear about today’s violence in Tehama County, which shockingly involved schoolchildren,” he wrote. “We offer our condolences to the families who lost loved ones and unite with all Californians in grief.”