CHICO, Calif. – A mother is recovering after she was shot five times while shielding her children during a shooting rampage earlier this week.
In all, the shooting spanned seven sites in Rancho Tehama, left five people dead and wounded at least 10 others before police killed the shooter, 44-year-old Kevin Neal.
Tiffany Phommathep was dropping her children off at Rancho Tehama Elementary School on Tuesday morning when she heard gunshots. Immediately, she threw herself over her 10-year-old son.
“I just kept on praying that he’d go away because I can’t take another bullet. I knew I wouldn’t make it,” she told KCRA.
The 31-year-old mother was shot four times in the back and once in the hip. All three of her children were injured during the shooting, but have been released from the hospital.
Phommathep says she hit the gas to get away from the gunfire. When she reached safety, she began asking people for help.
“Found some more strength to open my window, my door, and I hopped out to her and asked her, ‘Can you help? I’m shot, I’m dying, and my kids are in the car.’ She said she couldn’t help me because she only had a two-seater and she was late for work,” Phommathep said. “That hurt my heart a lot to hear her say that.”
In all, she says she asked four people for help.
“I think they just didn’t want to get involved in case I was being, like, chased by some lunatic that was trying to gun me down,” she said.
No one helped, so Phommathep attempted to drive herself to the hospital before finding Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston.
“She was trying to drive herself to the hospital when I encountered her on the road,” Johnston said.