On Monday, April 10th, Cedric Anderson entered the North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, California, where his estranged wife Karen Elaine Smith worked as a special education teacher. Anderson was reportedly allowed access to the school when he said he was dropping something off at Smith’s classroom.
But upon entry to her room, he opened fire with a .357 Magnum, killing Smith before ultimately killing himself. Jonathan Martinez, an 8-year-old student in Smith’s class, was also shot and died on the way to a nearby hospital, an unidentified 9-year-old student was also shot but is currently in critical condition.
Anderson and Smith had been married since January but were already separated for a number of weeks before Monday’s incident.
According to a report from the New York Daily News, during the two’s short-lived marriage Anderson became abusive toward Smith and accused her of infidelity.
“As soon as they married, he turned on her. The real Cedric came out,” Irma Sykes, Smith’s mother, said to the Daily News.
“He told her he would throw her out the window,” Skyes added. “She was shocked, like ‘What happened?’ He was so kind to her while they were dating. She had no idea.”
Smith ultimately left Anderson, living her last days with her daughter, son and mother.
North Park Elementary School is currently closed and will be until Wednesday. The school district plans on providing grief counseling for the children and administration.
“Parents, I have a message for you. I would like you to work with your young child to keep things as normal as possible,” Dale Marsden, superintendent of the San Bernardino City Unified School District, said. “Be willing to listen to their story as many times as possible. And be ready to model for them a healthy response.”