The terrible shooting spree in Northern California was made all the more horrible when police discovered that the shooter had killed his wife at the beginning of his attack. But now we know that he wasn’t even supposed to be in possession of any guns.
Why was he not supposed to have guns?
According to the Chicago Tribune, the shooter had stabbed a neighbor in January, and a consequent judgement ordered him to surrender all firearms on April 1. Seven months later, he killed that same neighbor in his shooting rampage.
Why did he have guns illegally?
Police say that he was armed with one semi-automatic rifle and two handguns during his shooting spree. Another rifle was found after a search. None of them were legally in his possession – the two rifles were unregistered, and the two pistols were registered to someone else.
Were there any other warning signs?
Yes, the police said they were well-acquainted with the man.
“We have a history with him,” Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said. “He was out on bail for assault with a deadly weapon that occurred in January. He was not law enforcement friendly.”
“We see a dramatic problem with mental health, drugs, alcohol, poverty and firearms,” said Tehama County District Attorney Gregg Cohen. “That mix is a tremendous problem. It is growing. I’m not speaking just to Tehama County. This is a concern, it appears nationwide.”
“We’re all suffering the same epidemic. It’s the deadly combination of those in that mix. Mental health, drugs, alcohol, poverty, firearms.”
From a parent a Rancho Tehama, taken last year. "I want the world to see what this world has come to”–Jayne Barnes-Vinson pic.twitter.com/NvGj60p3MZ
— Paige St. John (@paigestjohn) November 15, 2017
The shooter’s 25 minute killing spree began the day after he shot and killed his wife and secreted her body in the floor of his home. He killed a neighbor that he had an ongoing feud with, and ended up at the elementary school.
Luckily, they had heard his gunshots and were on lockdown when he arrived, minimizing the killing he intended. He drove off, encountering two more victims before police killed him in a furious gunfight.