Student killed in San Bernardino shooting endured great deal in short life
- Author: Darren Santiago Apr 16, 2017,
Apr 16, 2017, 2:29
Police offers stand guard at North Park Elementary School following a shooting on campus on Mon., April 10, 2017 in San Bernardino, Calif.
Children with the syndrome can have learning disabilities and heart problems akin to hardening of the arteries, frequently requiring surgery.
They had separated and when they did not reconcile, he went to her special-education classroom and fatally shot her and one of the children she taught before turning the gun on himself, police said Tuesday.
While San Bernardino has long struggled with high levels of violence, last year it marked a grim milestone as police recorded 62 killings - making it the deadliest year since 1995.
San Bernardino Unified City School District Superintendent Dale Marsden said that the family wants - in the boy's memory - the nation to be aware and conscious of what Williams syndrome is. Smith has been identified by authorities as one of the people shot by Cedric Anderson, identified as her estran.
The police chief also said a note believed to be from Anderson had been found that talked about needing closure and feeling disrespected.
"As a result of this tragedy, North Park Elementary will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday and Del Vallejo Middle School will serve as a temporary location to provide counseling and support services to North Park staff members, parents and students on Tuesday and Wednesday", the school district said in a statement.
"He started crying hysterically I spent all night hugging him and telling him, 'Please don't ever leave my side, '" she said.
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Community members gathered for a vigil Tuesday evening, to mourn the two victims and left flowers, teddy bears and balloons at the elementary school. Anderson then shot and killed himself. Two students were also struck: 8-year-old Jonathan Martinez died on his way to the hospital and a 9-year-old student was listed in stable condition Tuesday morning. "He did not make a specific threat to shoot her", Burguan said.
At the same time, those with the syndrome often are highly social and have "striking verbal abilities" and an affinity for music, the superintendent said.
Revelations of the disturbing incidents came after Anderson entered a North Park Elementary School classroom for special needs students where his second wife worked and opened fire with a.357 handgun. "You know, it's not a scary place to be, and just kind of help him process more and re-experience what happened to hopefully make this as healthy an experience as can be given the circumstances".
"She had a huge impact on his life".
Anderson had a history of weapons, domestic violence and possible drug charges before his marriage Smith. "But the Bible says, 'Thou shalt not kill.' So I can imagine where he [Anderson] is now".
"We thought he was a fine person until they were married and then he showed the other side of him which we had never seen before", said Irma Sykes, Karen Smith's mother.
Jonathan Martinez, 8, died at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda after being airlifted from the school, the police chief said.