Ten people have been hospitalized, authorities say. When he would call the family in a rage, upset over something, they would tell him to go to a mental health facility and that he needed medication.
The Eureka Times-Standard, a regional newspaper, reported that ten people had been injured in the shootings.
But his many contacts with authorities raised questions of why he was out of custody and able to go on the 45-minute rampage that began with the killing of two neighbours in an apparent act of revenge before he went looking for random victims. Students also were shot and wounded at an elementary school. No one was killed there. The gunman was killed after two officers engaged him, law enforcement officials said.
Authorities have said they don't know of any connection between the school and the shooter.
"We have not connected him with any one person in the school", Johnston said.
He said the suspect has been identified, but his name has not been released pending notification of next-of-kin. The gunman had a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns.
NPR's Nate Rott spoke to resident Tiffany Rodgers, who says she knows nearly every student at the elementary school and heard the shooting from a nearby cafe.
"Our teacher told us to go under our desk and keep flat in case he comes inside", Arianna said.
She said they and others heard constant gunfire from the area of the gunman's house, but couldn't say for sure it was him firing.
Police believe it was the feud that may have fueled the spree, CNN reported.
The death toll from a shooting rampage in the Northern California county of Tehama has risen to five.
Tello saw bullets hit the truck, so he made his children get down and put his own truck in reverse, he said.
The mother, who spoke on condition she be named only as Anne because she fears for her safety, said her son told her the neighbor was slightly cut after Neal grabbed a steak knife out of the hand of the neighbor who was threatening him with it. Mercy Dignity Health confirmed that the hospital has received three patients.
Law enforcement officers from a range of agencies have responded to the incident, including the Highway Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Johnston said officers found the wife's body on Tuesday night.
"It's a very sad day for us here in Tehama County", he told Action News Now, tearing up.
Posts on social media showed Rancho Tehama Road being closed off with yellow crime tape, and students' parents stuck behind the road block.
He fired his rifle through windows and walls, and tried the doors, but the buildings at the Rancho Tehama Reserve school were secure. It had a population of just 1,485 at the 2010 census.