SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Sheriff’s deputies responded 21 times in the last year to calls involving a Rancho Tehama Reserve man who had been feuding with his neighbors before he committed a shooting rampage last week, killing five people and wounding at least eight others.
The information released Tuesday in response to a public records request details a quickly escalating feud between gunman Kevin Neal and his neighbors in the tiny rural neighborhood of Rancho Tehama Reserve.
Neal’s neighbors, including two of the people killed in the shooting rampage, had called the sheriff’s department at least six times to report that Neal had been firing a gun, sometimes at their homes and cars.
Records show seven calls were initiated by Neal and his wife, Barbara Glisan, often reporting foul odors and neighbors possibly cooking methamphetamine.
Neal screamed out loud that he was going to kill neighbor Danny Elliott and then go to the elementary school to kill Elliott’s 7-year-old son, said Johnny Phommathep, a neighbor who lived about 200 feet away from Neal.
He’d scream to him, “I’ma kill you, boy. I’ma learn you. Once I kill you, I’ma go kill your son at school,” Phommathep told the Record Searchlight of Redding.
The Tehama County Sheriff’s Office said Neal, 44, killed Elliott and his mother, Diana Steele, in an apparent act of revenge before he shot randomly into vehicles and at people in the rural community.
Neal killed five people and wounded at least eight others including children before authorities shot him dead during his rampage.
The gunman rammed a car into the gates of Rancho Tehama Elementary School and shot at its portable classrooms. He tried repeatedly to get into a kindergarten classroom but quick-thinking staff had locked the school down, and he eventually stormed off.
Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston has said he wasn’t sure why Neal headed to the school, but Phommathep said Neal probably went there looking for Elliott’s son. The school has about 100 students, in kindergarten through fifth grades.
Authorities found the bullet-riddled body of Neal’s wife under the floorboards of their home. They believe her slaying was the start of the rampage.
At the time of the assault, Neal was out of custody on bail after being arrested in January and charged with stabbing Elliott’s girlfriend. She obtained a restraining order against Neal in February, stating that the household required protection.