SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — A teacher and 8-year-old student is dead after an apparent-murder suicide at a California elementary school, according to police.
Stay with WSBTV.com and Channel 2 Action News as this story develops.
The gunman was identified as Riverside resident Cedric Anderson, 53, who went to North Park Elementary School armed with a high-caliber revolver and opened fire on his wife, Karen Elaine Smith, 53, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said.
Anderson and Smith were found dead in a special needs classroom that serves first through fourth grades, Burguan said.
Anderson entered the classroom "without saying anything" before he opened fire, Burguan said. There were a total of 15 students and two aides in the classroom at the time, he added.
WHAT WE KNOW:
- 4 shot in elementary school classroom
- 2 adults, husband and estranged wife, deceased in classroom
- 1 student deceased
- 1 student at hospital in critical condition
Two injured students were initially taken to local hospitals for treatment, Burguan said. One student, Jonathan Martinez, 8, died after he was airlifted to the hospital, Burguan said. The other student, a 9-year-old, is listed in stable condition at the hospital, Burguan said.
The students were not targeted, but were standing behind Smith when the shooting occurred, Burguan said.
Emergency dispatchers began receiving 911 calls reporting shots fired around 10:27 a.m., San Bernardino Public Information Officer Lt. Mike Madden said. San Bernardino police officers were on the scene within four minutes of the initial call.
Anderson had come to the school as a visitor and signed into the front office, said Capt. Ron Maass, who is leading the investigation for the San Bernardino Police Department.
He had told the office that he was there to drop something off to his wife, which is "not uncommon," Burguan said. Anderson was a "known person" by school staff, and all the necessary precautionary procedures involving confirming his identity were taken when he arrived at the school, San Bernardino Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Dale Marsden said.
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The entire incident occurred in one classroom and the students were injured simply due to their proximity to the adult female, Maass said.
There is no indication that the gun was visible upon Anderson's arrival at the school, Maass said, adding that he does not believe the school is equipped with metal detectors.
It is unclear how many shots were fired or if domestic violence played a role in the shooting, Maass said.
Students at the elementary school were taken to nearby Cajon High School for safety immediately following the incident, Burguan said.
Marsden asked that parents be patient when retrieving their children from the high school. Pickup could take up to three hours, especially since authorities are conducting interviews with students and staff members, he said.
North Park Elementary School will be closed for at least the next two days, Marsden added.
Channel 2 Action News streamed helicopter footage from ABC Los Angeles station KTLA on the WSB-TV Facebook page.
Video showed students gathered near an exterior fence on campus. The footage also showed law enforcement canvassing the campus parking lot.
Channel 2 Action News was the first local station to alert you in the metro Atlanta area by a breaking alert on our WSB-TV news app.
The mother of a fourth-grade student at the school said that she was watching the news when she heard about the shooting and she "ran right over" to the school to check on her daughter, saying she was "scared to death."
The woman said she could see her daughter on the other side of the fence and said she was crying as she held hands with her classmates.
San Bernardino Mayor Carey Davis said he received a call from the White House expressing concern for the students and teachers at the school.
San Bernardino was the site of a December 2015 terror attack that killed 14 people and injured 22 others. The mayor said that after that tragedy, the community "came together."
"We did that because too often these incidents are utilized for others to take advantage of," Davis said. "We felt that it was important to not only unite our community but to also ... show that a community short on resources is very resilient and can deal with tragedy and disaster just as effective as" the rest of the country.
Cox Media Group