A gunman opened fire on his estranged wife in what police are calling a domestic murder-suicide.
Police are continuing their investigation of a San Bernardino school shooting that left one teacher, a student and the alleged gunman dead.
On Monday at 10:30 am PST, Cedric Anderson, 53, entered a special needs classroom at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, CA and opened fire on his estranged wife, Karen Elaine Smith, according to San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan. Two other students were injured in the gunfire.
Killed in the incident were 53-year-old Smith, 8-year-old student Jonathan Martinez, and Anderson in what’s being considered a domestic murder-suicide.
Another 9-year-old standing behind Anderson was shot, but is in stable condition.
Here's what we know about the shooting:
- According to the Los Angeles Times, all district schools require visitors to show a photo I.D. and sign in at the front office. The gunman, “followed the check-in protocol.” Anderson gained access to the classroom after telling the school’s office staff that he needed to drop something off to Smith, according to Burguan.
- The staff contends that they did not see the high-caliber revolver he was carrying into the building.
- Smith knew Anderson for four years prior to them marrying just two months ago. Anderson was a pastor who was active in the Southern California community.
- Smith’s mother, Irma Sykes, says that her daughter was pulling away from Anderson soon after marrying and moving in with him. “She thought she had a wonderful husband, but she found out he was not wonderful at all. He had other motives,” Sykes told the LA Times. “She left him and that’s where the trouble began. She broke up with him and he came out with a different personality. She decided she needed to leave him. She was going to divorce him.”
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- Anderson had a criminal past that included assault and battery, brandishing a firearm, disturbing the peace, drug possession and domestic violence.
- Considered California’s most dangerous city, San Bernardino’s crime rate rose 41 percent last year. It should also be noted that 4.7 million women experience physical violence by an intimate partner every year, with three being murdered a day, according to NNEDV and the CDC.
- “She was a very fine person,” Sykes said. “She was a Christian. She loved the Lord and served him, and she was a dedicated teacher.”
- Smith, who had a passion for teaching to children with special needs, leaves behind four adult children.
The incident comes a little over year after a gunman entered the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino killing 14 people in what was considered a terrorist attack. An investigation continues.