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San Bernardino elementary school murder-suicide leaves three dead

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Giovanna Z. Rinaldo
Editorial Director
Brooke Grasso
Editor in Chief

North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino remains closed after a deadly shooting on campus Monday. Two adults and a student were killed in the shooting, while one student is stable and recovering after 10 shots were fired into the third and fourth grade special education class.

North Park will reopen Monday according to the school’s website.

Suspect Cedric Anderson, 53, of Riverside, shot his estranged wife, special education teacher Karen Smith, 53, before turning the large caliber revolver on himself, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said in a press conference Monday night.

Two students were behind the teacher at the time of the shooting and were struck by the gunfire. Jonathan Martinez, 8, was airlifted to Loma Linda Medical Center and died upon arrival. The second student, age 9, is in stable condition, Burguan said.

North Park students were taken to California State San Bernardino where they were accounted for and then taken to Cajon High School for parental pickup, according to the San Bernardino Police Department’s Twitter account.

Transportation from the elementary school to the university took approximately two hours despite being 1.2 miles away, a driver from school bus operator Durham School Services said at the elementary school.

“We were stuck, there was a lot of parents blocking, so they couldn’t really get up here to get to the kids. But they were just making sure everybody was here then they took them,” she said.

In a press conference Tuesday, Burguan said the couple had marital issues and after two months of marriage Smith moved out of their Riverside home.

Investigators seized a note from the home that indicated he needed closure and felt disrespected. The note did not indicate a warning of the murder-suicide, Burguan said.

San Bernardino resident Mark Coronado lives near North Park and worked as a volunteer enforcing security at the school while his son was a student there last year. When Coronado heard sirens, he said he knew something was wrong.

“I heard a lot of sirens, and then I turned on the scanner on my app, on my phone — cause I’m a helicopter parent, if I hear too many sirens, I know something is wrong,” he said at the scene of the shooting. “First thing I heard was ‘school shooting,’ and then I heard ‘North Park. I notified my neighbor because my neighbor’s daughter goes here. And then I ran here as fast as I could.”

Coronado said that while volunteering at the school, he sensed underlying issues with security brought it up to the school’s principal.

“I’ve seen a lot of the parents that come in with all the drama of divorce and stuff like that,” he said. “There was an instance where a parent came and he had a knife, and I chased him away personally. I was volunteering here that day. So this isn’t the first time, it’s just the first time that it’s gone that far.”

Giovanna Z. Rinaldo can be reached at giovanna.zelonirinaldo@laverne.edu.

Brooke Grasso can be reached at brooke.grasso@laverne.edu.

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