Police on Tuesday continued to piece together the motive behind an astonishing murder-suicide that played out at a California grade school, where three people died Monday.
Without uttering a word, Cedric Anderson, of Riverside, California, is accused of walking into a special-needs classroom at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino and opening fire on his estranged wife, Karen Elaine Smith, before turning the gun himself, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said, writes ABC News:
The shooter had a criminal history that included weapons charges, drug charges and accusations of domestic violence, Burguan said, without providing further details.
It was unclear whether domestic violence played a role in the shooting, police said, but the couple was estranged. Burguan said they separated about a month ago after being married for just a few months.
Police said Anderson used a .357 revolver and reloaded at least once during the attack.
But his social media postings weave a different story of the man, reports NBC News:
Anderson wrote as if he and his vibrant, striking bride — school teacher Karen Smith — had been destined for each other. The evidence appeared in his frequent Facebook postings: a gentle wedding kiss, the video of the newly married couple cooing at the camera over a sumptuous dinner, then more baby talk and snuggling during their honeymoon in Sedona, Arizona. He called himself “blessed.”
Before Monday’s deadly outburst, most of what appeared in Anderson’s Facebook-curated world seemed just right, belying what police described as the couple’s estrangement.
They had been together for several years, but Smith grew terrified of Anderson, her family said. She never filed a police report, but went into hiding, keeping the details of their marital troubles under wraps.
8-Year-Old Student One of 3 Killed In San Bernardino School Shooting
An 8-year-old male student is one of three people killed Monday in a murder-suicide shooting at an elementary school in San Bernardino, California, reports KTLA.
After being admitted onto the campus of North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, a 53-year-old Riverside man went to his estranged wife’s special education classroom and opened fire Monday, fatally shooting her and striking two students before killing himself, police said.
One of the students, an 8-year-old boy named Jonathan Martinez, died after being rushed to the hospital.
The teacher was identified as Karen Elaine Smith, 53. Her husband was identified as Cedric Anderson of Riverside, also 53. Without saying anything, Anderson quickly opened fire with a large-caliber revolver, killing Smith and striking two students who were standing behind her, according to San Bernardino Police Department Chief Jarrod Burguan.
Police are not sure how many shots were fired, and a 9-year-old student was wounded and listed in stable condition at a local hospital. Authorities locked down the school — which will be closed for at least two days — and students were safely escorted to Cal State University where they united with parents, reports ABC7.