Northern California Shooting


Courtesy of ELIJAH NOUVELAGE, AFP/Getty Images

A police officer walks on the crime scene.

Stephen Serrano, Section Editor

In Northern California, 120 miles from Sacramento, a shooting occurred in the rural city of Rancho Tehama (LA Times). The shooter fired bullets near Rancho Tehama Elementary School on November 14. In all, the attack lasted about 45 minutes, leaving five people dead.

The shooter has been identified as Kevin Jansen Neal who began the violence around eight o’clock in the morning (New York Times). According to his brother, Neal has dealt with mental illness in the past, which has been said is the cause of the killings. He murdered his wife first and then decided to strike a male and female neighbor he had been arguing with beforehand (LA Times). After that, he went on a rampage through the rural town, eventually driving up to the school. At the school, he shot a mother and son who were on the way to school. The boy is expected to live, but his mother has some life-threatening injuries (LA Times).

Luckily, the school was very prepared for the lockdown. Without the courage and readiness of teachers and students at Rancho Tehama Elementary School, the school would have been a bloodbath. Authorities arrested Neal in January for a stabbing his neighbor and have a restraining order on him. Neal committed suicide after he was done with his violent acts so that the police could not get to him.

With school shootings becoming more prevalent in our society, it is a smart idea to be prepared. Here at YLHS, lockdown drills are good ways for us to be ready if an attack ever strikes. It is truly disheartening to see innocent people die in such a horrid way. Agreeing with that notion, Priscilla Kim (10) also says that “school shootings are very scary and it is crucial that we, as a school, prepare for one if it ever happens.”

Mental health is a significant cause of school shootings. As a society, we should be extra kind to those who are dealing with mental health issues. There are no consequences for choosing to be compassionate towards others.

This attack is a reminder to all people to count their blessings and to be grateful for what they have because it can be taken away in an instant. Although chilling to the bone, this act of violence should be used as a teaching method for emergency readiness. Thoughts and prayers go out to all the families affected and Rancho Tehama Elementary School for a speedy recovery.