Four people were killed and another dozen were wounded in rural northern California when a gunman went on a rampage shooting at a elementary school and other locations. The shooter was killed in a gunbattle with the county police which went on for hours.
The elementary school is located on the outskirts of Corning, an olive oil-producing town of around 8,000 people about 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of the state capital Sacramento.
Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston came on record to say that motive for the assault was still unclear.
“It was very clear at the onset that we had an individual that was randomly picking targets…This man was very, very intent on completing what he set out to do today,” Johnston said at a news conference.
The gunman went on a shooting spree after stealing a neighbor’s vehicle. He then tried to gain access to the school but was unsuccessful. Once he left the school, he continued on the rampage and crashed the vehicle at one point. He then stole a second vehicle and was killed in a shootout with police.
The shooting is said to have begun at 8:00 am (local time) at a home in Rancho Tehama Reserve and continued at several locations in the community, including the elementary school.
Couple of children were wounded in the attack but there were no children among the dead.
One of the four victims was a woman the gunman had previously been accused of stabbing, Johnston said.
The gunman was “driving around and shooting randomly from his car,” said a witness Casey Burnett.
The shooting has revived the long-running debate on America’s gun control laws. The California shooting comes just ten days after a gunman shot dead 26 people at a church in Texas.
The police said three weapons a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns had been recovered from the scene.
(With inputs from PTI)