RANCHO TEHAMA RESERVE, Calif. (CBS13) — A woman the Tehama County shooter is accused of stabbing in January shared her firsthand experience with CBS13.
The victim, Hailey Poland, tells CBS13 she moved out of her home two months ago to get away from Neal. She says she feared for her life, and now her boyfriend is dead, killed by the man who tried to kill her.
“He was holding us captive in front of his house, he began stabbing me, the knife almost went through the pancreas,” said an emotional Hailey Poland.
Poland was walking with her boyfriend’s mom past Kevin Neal’s home in January when she says Neal walked out and began stabbing her. It’s the same incident where Tehama County Sheriff’s deputies Tuesday said Neal posted bail and was freed.
“He bailed out two hours later,” Poland said.
Poland described battling with Neal for 15 minutes as he kept stabbing her. She said Neal was determined to kill her.
“He used to be a nice guy, but he just literally — with a snap of a finger — went crazy, and his eyes went from blue to black,” she said.
Poland had a restraining order against Neal, saying he threatened to kill her on numerous occasions.
Neal, who was once a threat to Poland, became a threat to the Rancho Tehama community on Tuesday when he shot and killed Poland’s boyfriend Tuesday morning, just two months after she moved to Southern California to get away from Neal.
“My boyfriend would have been here today, now I have to live the rest of my life with this,” cried Poland.
Heartbroken and shattered, she regrets not taking her boyfriend and his mom when she moved.
Now, all she says she can think about is why law enforcement didn’t find Neal as much of a threat as she did.
“This would have never happened if they would have done their job. Those people would have been there today,” she said.
The community has been repeatedly asking why law enforcement did not keep a closer eye on Neal, knowing he has a violent past. Authorities say there wasn’t much they could do after Neal posted bail.
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