A gunman carrying a semi-automatic weapon and two handguns opened fire at multiple locations across a small northern California community on Tuesday, killing four people before he was slain by police.
At least 10 other people were wounded, including two children at a school near the small town of Corning, about 70 kilometres north of Sacramento, where the suspect was slain, according to police and local media.
“Deeply saddened to hear of the shooting in Northern California, the loss of life, including innocent children,” US Vice President Mike Pence said on Twitter.
“We commend the effort of courageous law enforcement. We’ll continue to monitor the situation & provide federal support, as we pray for comfort & healing for all impacted.”
Shots were fired at Rancho Tehama Elementary school and some people were injured there but no students or staff members died.
Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said the gunman tried to gain access to classrooms to shoot more children, but a lockdown at the school saved further tragedy.
Sheriff Johnson did not give a motive for the shooting rampage, but said the shooter’s neighbours had reported a domestic violence incident.
“It was very clear at the onset that we had an individual that was randomly picking targets,” he said.
The local Redding Record Searchlight newspaper reported that it began when the gunman opened fire at a home and six other locations shortly after 8am local time.
A parent, Coy Ferreira, said he was dropping off his daughter at the elementary school when he heard gunfire.
“One of the teachers came running out of the building and told us to all run inside because there was a shooter coming,” Mr Ferreira said.
“So we all hurried up and ran and told the students to get in the classrooms.”
Area resident Brian Flint told local media his neighbour was the shooter and had stolen his truck.