Tragedy struck in San Bernardino, California on Monday when shots were fired inside North Park Elementary School, during what many believe to be a murder-suicide. At approximately 10:30 a.m., Cedric Anderson entered a special-education classroom and shot multiple people, ultimately killing three, including himself.
The classroom belonged to Karen Elaine Smith, the former wife of Anderson. San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said, “I’m told that their marriage was relatively short. They’ve only been married for a few months and they’ve been separated for about the last month, month-and-a-half, roughly, when this incident took place.”
It was due to this union that Anderson was able to enter the classroom so easily; he apparently knew people throughout the school, and claimed he was just giving something to his former wife when he signed in. He then went into Smith’s room and shot at her. He inadvertently hit two students, as they were adjacent to Smith, killing one, Jonathan Martinez, and hospitalizing the other.
Martinez was an eight year-old boy with Williams syndrome, “a rare disorder characterized by learning delays, mild intellectual disability and heart problems,” said Dale Marsden, superintendent. A boy who seemed altruistic and jovial, Martinez passed away while at the hospital.
However, there were more present during the shooting, including two aides and nearly a dozen students. In addition, there were the hundreds of students attending North Park at the time, who were ushered to California State University and Cajon High School, or put on lockdown, to ensure their safety.
The south California community will be losing a helpful teacher who strived to improve the lives of all she teached.
According to Marie Cabreras, the parent of a student who worked with Smith, she “had the patience and understanding to handle special-needs students.”
This shooting, however, is just a sign of the epidemic that has been occurring throughout the city of San Bernardino since it declared bankruptcy in 2012, which was also “the site of a December 2015 terror attack that killed 14 people and wounded 22 others at a meeting of San Bernardino County employees,” said Fox News.
Although, this has not just become a local problem, but one for the entire United States. These school shootings have been increasing exponentially in the past few years, and it seems that action is necessary before more lives are lost.