The Associated Press is reporting that the wife of Kevin Janson Neal, the gunman who went on a shooting rampage in a Northern California town Tuesday, was found dead inside their home. Police believe she was killed on Monday.
Authorities announced on Wednesday that her body has been found hidden under the floor, with several gunshot wounds. Investigators believe Neal’s murder of his wife began the rampage, according to Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston.
Johnston said, “We are confident that [Neal] murdered her.”
Neal’s rampage has now been officially linked to five deaths, including two of his neighbors, as well as 10 gunshot injuries.
New reports have revealed that at the time of the attack, Neal was out on bail stemming from charges of stabbing a neighbor. Police think part of Neal’s motive may have been revenge, as he’d reportedly had disputes with neighbors. One of the fatally injured victims was a female neighbor who had accused him of a knife assault in January, landing the gunman in jail.
Tehama District Attorney Gregg Cohen said there were two charges against Neal, related to a stabbing and assault with a deadly weapon, which stemmed from two incidents with Neal’s neighbors.
Court records also show that Neal was barred in February from having guns, due to the charges against him. The AP reports that Neal surrendered his weapons, as required by law, in February. Yet neighbors had been complaining about him firing hundreds of rounds from his house. Johnston acknowledged that officers had visited the home on several occasions.
“Every time we responded, we would try to make contact with Mr. Neal,” Johnston said. “He was not law enforcement friendly. He would not come to the door. His house was arranged in a manner where we couldn’t detect him being there.”
Johnston continued, “We can’t anticipate what people are going to do. We don’t have a crystal ball.”
Johnston said the guns they recovered were two illegally made, semi-automatic rifles, as well as two handguns. The weapons had been registered in someone else’s name.
Neal used the weapons to shoot 15 people and fire numerous rounds at an elementary school and random targets, before police ended his wild rampage in a shootout that cost Neal his life.
Johnston also corrected earlier estimates that Neal’s rampage lasted about 45 minutes, saying it lasted 25 minutes instead.
BREAKING: Court documents show Northern California shooter was prohibited from having guns as part of restraining order.
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 15, 2017
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