Tehama shooter had ongoing conflicts with neighbors before rampage

Police reports reveal the man who went on a violent shooting rampage in Northern California had a history a violence and neighbors were fearful.

2 Investigates found Tehama County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to 21 reports of incidents involving Kevin Janson Neal since November 2016. The reports include claims he was firing off dozens of rounds, shooting at nearby properties and threatening neighbors.

Neal was shot and killed by police after leading deputies on a hunt last Tuesday as he stole two vehicles, randomly targeted people and even made an elementary school one of the crime scenes. Investigators said he killed five and injured at least eight in the rural Tehama Reserve community.

Newly released records show neighbors complained about Neal’s violent and erratic behavior, even alleging he would scream, shout or assault them.

In late January, Neal landed in jail for an incident involving two neighbors. The police reports explain he was believed to be firing an AR-15 illegal assault rifle and some bullets struck the neighbor’s fence. He confronted the neighbors, smashed a cell phone and stabbed one of them, documents explain.

Neal faced several charges including discharge of a firearm with gross negligence, false imprisonment with violence, battery on a person, robbery, among others.

A neighbor, reports show, got a restraining order against Neal following the January incident. However, several calls went to police accusing Neal of violating that order and yelling or confronting the neighbors.

Neal was supposed to be in court for a trial surrounding the stabbing and confrontation. Reports and interviews with his family in North Carolina explain he struggled with mental illness and had a violent temper.

In many cases, police say they didn’t have enough evidence to charge Neal with anything, or the district attorney did not follow through with the case, feeling it was too weak.