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Three killed and two children wounded in California school shooting

The incident occurred in Tehama County.

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File photo
Image: Shutterstock/Photo Spirit

AT LEAST THREE people were killed and two young children suffered gunshot wounds when a shooting broke out today at a school in rural northern California.

Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston told the KCRA news network that the assailant was killed by police following the shooting, which began around 8am local time at a home in Tehama County and continued at the Rancho Tehama Elementary School.

Resident Brian Flint told a local newspaper the suspected gunman was a neighbour of his, a former convict in his 50s.

Johnston, of the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office, told reporters that three weapons — a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns — had been recovered from the scene

He said he knew of at least three deaths.

“I know that we have medevacked (airlifted) a number of students, I know that the school has been cleared, I know that we have the children that were attending school in a safe location at this time,” Johnston said.

Some 100 law enforcement officers responded to the shooting, and students at the school have been safely evacuated, he added.

The Redding Record Searchlight said among the wounded was a six-year-old who suffered two gunshot wounds and another child shot in the leg.

It said initial reports indicated the shooter had barricaded himself inside a building before being shot by police.

Katrina Gierman, who lives near the school, told the paper that she heard the gunshots and had barricaded herself in her home with her newborn son.

“I have the right to bear arms, and I will protect my son if I have to,” she said.

The elementary school is located on the outskirts of Corning, an olive oil-producing town of around 8,000 people about 160 kilometres north of the state capital Sacramento.

The shooting coincides with a new flare-up of the long-running debate on America’s epidemic of gun violence and the ready accessibility of high-powered weapons, less than 10 days after a gunman shot dead 26 people in a church in Texas.

More than 33,000 people die annually in the United States from gun-related deaths — two thirds of them suicides — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read: Air Force mistake enabled Texas shooter to buy guns, despite violent past>

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