Ultimately, her's was the final death attributed to gunman Kevin Janson Neal.
The shooting broke out at a home in Tehama County, in Northern California and continued at the school, local authorities were quoted as saying.
Mr. Johnston said investigators believed that the killing of Mr. Neal's wife was what started the rampage.
"We were looking for his wife and couldn't find her yesterday", Johnston said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Johnston said the gunman, apparently frustrated, left the school grounds and resumed his random shooting before crashing the vehicle.
In all, the gunman's rampage involved seven shooting scenes.
Police have declined to identify the shooter but confirmed the same man was charged with the stabbing in January.
The police said the school's decision to order a lockdown prevented many more children from being killed. "I have to say this incident, as tragic and as bad as it is, could have been so much worse", Johnston said, applauding the quick thinking of the school staff.
"This individual was driving down the road choosing targets".
Mr Tello said he also saw a a dead woman lying on a street about a quarter of a mile from Rancho Tehama School. Brian Flint said that his neighbor, whom he knows only as Kevin, also stole his truck.
"I can not say enough about their heart and about their bravery", Fitzpatrick said of the school staff. School officials heard gunshots and made a critical decision to lock it down.
"I know that we have (airlifted) a number of students", Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston told the station.
The gunman tried to enter the school but couldn't get in. "Then, like a minute later, there were three more shots fired".
The first calls about the shooting came in shortly before 8 a.m. local time on Tuesday, Johnston told reporters.
About 100 law enforcement personnel are now working at least five crime scenes in the area, he said.
Neal's mother talked to The Associated Press by phone from Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives and where Neal grew up before moving to California, where he was working as a pot farmer and had recently married his longtime girlfriend before he died in a shootout with police on Tuesday. Neal was scheduled to stand trial on January 11, 2018 for the assault against the neighborhood women with initial trials beginning in December.
Schultz quoted another witness, Casey Burnett, who said the gunman was "driving around and shooting randomly from his vehicle". "He'd go off the hinges", she said.
On Monday, he told his mother he had "done everything I could do and I am fighting against everyone who lives in this area".
"If you could've seen him in those rages", said Orr, 46.
His motive remains unclear, but a dispute with a neighbor found dead Tuesday may have sparked the rampage, authorities said.
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