Awful New Details About The Brave Mom Shot Multiple Times Saving Her Kids From The California Elementary School Shooter — And How No One Stopped To Help Her

A stranger even told Tiffany Phommathep that she couldn't help her because she was late for work.

Tiffany Phommathep Tehama County mass shooting Twitter

It was just a normal weekday morning when 31-year-old Tiffany Phommathep dropped her children off at Rancho Tehama Elementary School. But the mother of three's routine was anything but when 44-year-old Kevin Neal opened fire on the small, rural community in Northern California, just steps from where Phommathep was sitting in her car. 

After seeing Neal approaching, she quickly threw herself over her 10-year-old son, John Jr., who was sitting in the passenger seat. Using her body as a shield, she was shot five times, four in her back left shoulder and once in her hip. And somehow, she found the strength to drive away. 


"I just kept on praying that he'd go away because I can't take another bullet," she said. "I knew I wouldn't make it."

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With her other two sons in the backseat, Phommathep sped to a nearby gas station and screamed for help. 

"I 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 said she couldn't help me because she only had a two-seater and she was late for work. That hurt my heart a lot to hear her say that."


Phommathep had to drive several more miles before she was finally able to flag down a police car. It was Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston who helped her. 

"She crawled out, bleeding," said her husband, Johnny Phommathep. "If it wasn't for him, my wife wouldn't be here."

All three of the children were injured during the attack that left six people, including Neal, dead. John Jr. was shot twice in the calf, 6-year-old Jake was shot in the foot and 2-year-old Nikos was cut by exploding glass. 


The toddler reportedly told his father, "we went to school and someone shot us with paintballs. It hit my feet, and I need new shoes now."

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According to Johnny Phommathep, his family is familiar with Neal. He was one of their neighbors, and they reportedly got used to seeing him fight with their other neighbor, Danyn Elliott, who had a 7-year-old son. 

"In the middle of the night, they'd get into screaming matches," Johnny Phommathep said. Neal would allegedly shout about how he was going to kill Elliott and his son when his son was in school. 


Hollywood Life

On Nov. 13, Neal killed his wife, 38-year-old Barbara Glisan inside their blue Bobcat Lane trailer and hid her body under the floor. The next day, he went on a shooting rampage and killed 38-year-old Elliot, 68-year-old Diana Steele, 56-year-old Joseph McHugh III, and 55-year-old Michelle McFadyen. 

Six children, four boys and two girls, were injured during the shooting. 


A GoFundMe page was set up for the Phommathep family to aid in their recovery. They've raised $50,000 of their $70,000 goal.

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Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango covering pop culture, news, politics, true crime, love and dating. She has a Facebook Live show every Wednesday at 10:20 EST. You can follow her on Instagram at @blackw00d and on Twitter at @emztweetz.