The man who opened fire at the North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino had even checked in at the front office in order to see his estranged wife, who he later killed.
His wife, Karen Elaine Smith, was a teacher at the school, and the two of them had only been married for a few months before separating about a month ago. The shooter was identified as Cedric Anderson.
Smith’s mother, Irma Sykes, said that her daughter almost immediately regretted marrying Anderson, calling him a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” whose abusive, angry side came out only after they were married.
At one point, Anderson accused Smith of infidelity, and Smith called her mother, terrified.
“He told her he would throw her out the window,” Skyes said. “She was shocked, like ‘What happened?’ He was so kind to her while they were dating. She had no idea.”
Eventually, Smith moved out of the house and intended to leave Anderson behind for good, not thinking that he would come to her school to come after her.
Anderson went to the front office to sign in to see his wife, which did not strike the school as odd, since spouses often check in to drop things off with the teachers. He then went down to Smith’s special education classroom and opened fire before turning his gun on himself.
Anderson and Smith both died at the scene, and two students were injured. One, an 8-year-old boy named Jonathan Martinez, has since died after being rushed to the hospital. A 9-year-old boy was also injured but is now reportedly in stable condition.
San Bernardino police Capt. Ron Maass said that the two children who were injured were not targets in this apparent murder-suicide. “We believe the two children were the unfortunate recipients of injuries by being in the proximity to the female at the time of the incident,” Maass said.