The superintendent of a small Northern California school said years of practicing lockdowns paid off when a gunman on a killing rampage charged on to school grounds.

Corning Union Elementary School District Superintendent Richard Fitzpatrick said Wednesday the drill went exactly as practiced.

He said many more children could have been hurt or killed after Kevin Neal started shooting at classrooms and the school office. One child was hospitalized with gunshot wounds and is expected to survive.

Fitzpatrick said staff heard initial gunshots and quickly realized "something was dreadfully wrong."

He said details of the lockdown process are confidential, but it was carried out in less than two minutes.

A district custodian said Neal tried repeatedly to get into a kindergarten classroom before giving up.