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Shooting at California Elementary School Kills 1 Student, 1 Teacher

  • VOA News

In this frame from video provided by KABC-TV, faculty and students evacuate North Park Elementary School as emergency personnel respond to a shooting inside in San Bernardino, California, April 10, 2017.

U.S. police say a gunman opened fire at a southern California elementary school Monday, killing his estranged wife, in a murder-suicide that also left an 8-year-old student dead.

Police say 53-year-old Cedric Anderson entered San Bernardino's North Park Elementary School and shot dead special education teacher Karen Elaine Smith, also 53, before shooting himself.

San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan, said two students who were standing behind Smith were also struck by gunfire. Both were airlifted to a nearby hospital where 8-year-old Jonathan Martinez died of his injuries. Another boy, aged 9, was initially listed in critical condition, but police say he is now stable.

Authorities say they do not believe the two students were targeted by the shooter and were believed to have been caught in the gunfire unintentionally.

Burguan said Anderson and Smith had been married only a few months and were estranged for at least one month. He said Anderson had a criminal history of weapons charges as well as domestic violence.

Authorities say Anderson gained entrance to the school as a visitor and kept his weapon, a large-caliber revolver, concealed until he began firing inside the classroom.

The classroom was for special needs students in the first through fourth grades.

San Bernardino, California
San Bernardino, California

North Park Elementary School, which has around 600 students, was evacuated and the students bused to the nearby campus of California State University at San Bernardino. Television footage showed the students walking hand-in-hand across the campus, escorted by police officers.

San Bernardino is about an hour's drive east of Los Angeles. The city is the site of the December 2015 terror attack in which a newlywed couple inspired by Islamic State opened fire at a county government office party, killing 14 people.

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