The gunman behind a shooting rampage near a Northern California school was out on bail charged with stabbing a neighbor, others had complained about him firing hundreds of rounds from his house, and he had been the subject of a domestic violence call the day before the attack.
Yet Kevin Neal was free and able to use a semiautomatic rifle and two handguns Tuesday to shoot 14 people, killing four, in seven different locations across his rural community in Tehama County, including an elementary school, before he died in a shootout with police.
It's not yet clear what the terms of Neal's bail were, and whether he would have been allowed to possess and fire the weapons on his property at the end of a dirt road in Rancho Tehama Reserve. Nor did sheriff's officials give details on the domestic violence call.
But his many contacts with authorities raised questions of why he was out of custody and able to go on the 45-minute rampage that began with the killing of two neighbors in an apparent act of revenge before he went looking for random victims.