Teacher, boy die when husband opens fire in US school

2017-04-11 07:22
(AP Photo/Christopher Weber)

(AP Photo/Christopher Weber)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

San Bernardino - A man walked into his estranged wife's elementary school classroom in San Bernardino and opened fire without saying a word, killing her and an 8-year-old student before shooting himself in a murder-suicide that spread panic across a city still recovering emotionally from a terror attack just 15 months ago.

A 9-year-old student also was critically wounded. He and the boy who died were behind their special-education teacher, Elaine Smith, 53, the target of the man she had married months earlier, police said.

The shooting left hundreds of distraught parents waiting for hours to reunite with their children.

Staffers knew Cedric Anderson, who had been estranged from his wife for about a month, and he got into the school by saying he had to drop something off for Smith, officials said.

"No one has come forward to say they saw this coming," police Chief Jarrod Burguan told reporters.

Panicked parents

Anderson had a history of weapons, domestic violence and possible drug charges that predated the short marriage, authorities said.

He frequently wrote social media posts about his wife over the past month. On what appeared to be his Facebook page, Anderson said he "loved being married to Karen Smith-Anderson!" and posted a photo of the two of them on March 4 in what he described as a date night. He posted several photos of his wedding to Smith early this year and their honeymoon in Sedona, Arizona.

Fifteen students ranging from first to fourth grade were in the special-education classroom at North Park School, along with two adult aides and Smith, when Anderson emptied a large-caliber revolver and reloaded. Then, he turned the gun on himself.

Jonathan Martinez, the 8-year-old, was airlifted to a hospital and died soon after arriving, Burguan said. The 9-year-old boy, whose name was not released, has been stabilised at a hospital.

The 600 other students at the school were bused to safety at California State University's San Bernardino campus, several miles away, after many walked off campus hand-in-hand, escorted by police.

Panicked parents had to wait hours before being reunited with them at a nearby high school.

'Every parent's worst nightmare'

Holly Penalber, whose 9-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter attend the school, called it "every parent's worst nightmare." She said the long wait was "frustrating but also understandable."

When the buses first pulled away from the elementary school, some parents ran alongside, waving and trying to recognise their children inside. Many said their children were too young to have cellphones. Others said the phones rang unanswered.

When students got to the high school, many carrying glow sticks they had been given to pass the time, they got hugs from emotional parents, many in tears. Police officers applauded and high-fived them.

Alberta Terrell said she cried with relief when she was told that a family friend saw her 9-year-old granddaughter getting safely onto a bus.

"I was really elated. But I won't be truly happy until I see her and can give her a big hug," Terrell said as she sat in the bleachers near Cajon High School's baseball diamond, waiting for her granddaughter to arrive.

Read more on:    us  |  us shootings

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Weird things dogs do

Caught your dog doing something... well a little bit odd? Don’t worry, there’s a simple explanation for his behaviour.

 
 

Paws

Makeover saves dog’s life
For the love of Corgis!
Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.