The wife of a man behind a recent mass shooting in California has been discovered dead beneath the floorboards in his Rancho Tehama Reserve home.
Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston on Wednesday said that investigator’s believe Kevin Neal’s spouse was killed two days before.
“We believe that’s probably what started this whole event,” he said during a press conference in Red Bluff, California, according to CBS News.
“There was a hole cut in the floor … we’re confident that he murdered her, shot her at some point on Monday, and just put her body in the hole in the floor and just covered it up,” Johnston added.
Neighbors told investigators Tuesday that they believed there was a domestic violence incident at Neal’s home the day before.
CBS News reported that it remains unclear what occurred in the time between when officials say Neal murdered his wife and began his rampage around 7:54 a.m. local time Tuesday.
The attack spanned across seven scenes, with Neal initially fatally shooting two of his neighbors before stealing their truck.
Neal then sought out seemingly random targets elsewhere, at one point getting locked out of an elementary school.
Johnston said a total of six people died in the carnage including the aforementioned wife and Neal, who was fatally shot by police.
Nine people were also injured in the bloodshed, he continued, including seven children, four of whom were in school at the time.
Johnston added that the children sustained injuries “ranging from very minor to life threatening,” with one child remaining in critical condition.
School officials heard gunshots Tuesday when they made a swift decision and locked down the building.
Neal could not enter the school, and a patrol car shortly thereafter rammed into his vehicle, setting up a chance for officers to return fire and kill him.