Boy killed in classroom was 'happy child' with rare disorder

Posted April 16, 2017

San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said at a news conference Tuesday that special education instructor Karen Smith had been concerned about her husband Cedric Anderson's behavior just prior to the shooting at North Park Elementary School. San Bernardino County Police believe the suspect is down and there's no further threat.

The 600 other students at the school were bused to safety at California State University's San Bernardino campus, several miles away.

Police said Anderson was able to enter the school by simply telling the front office staff he had something to drop off for his wife. "And today is the day for that", said Bishop Gerald Barnes, of the Diocese of San Bernardino.

The North Park school item is marked on the board's agenda as beginning at 7:30 p.m. during an open session.

One of two students injured in the murder-suicide later died at a hospital, Burguan said. And he wanted him to have good associations with the place before it reopens next week.

Many of them had anxiously watched TV news images of children gathered on the school playground surrounded by police with long guns, not knowing for sure whether their own children were safe.

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Anderson, 53, fired off 10 shots from a.357 Magnum.

Lena Hammerling and her daughters Melissa, left, and Maci, right, and an unidentified child look at a sidewalk memorial dedicated to the teacher and student who were shot to death Monday at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, Calif., Tuesday, April 11, 2017.

"I would like you to work with your young child to keep things as normal as possible", Dale Marsden, superintendent of the San Bernardino City Unified School District, said. They were told to go to a nearby high school where they would be reunited with their children.

"Unlike disorders that can make connecting with your child hard, children with Williams syndrome tend to be social, friendly and endearing", Superintendent Dale Marsden said, apparently reading from a description on the Williams Syndrome Association website. Jonathan's family shared photos of the boy on Tuesday. That boy, whose name was not been released, was expected to recover.

One eight-year-old boy, Jonathan Martinez, died from his wounds.

It's clear that Smith will be missed by both her students and her family.

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Mary Fields, a fellow teacher, said Smith loved kids.

"The first week after a woman makes the courageous decision to leave an abusive relationship is often the most risky week of her life", said Bryan Pacheco of Safe Horizon, an organization that supports victims of domestic violence.

"He told her he would throw her out the window".

"Parents, I have a message for you".

"She effectively kept her private life private", Burguan said.

Burguan did not elaborate except to say there was no "specific threat to shoot her".

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"For us as pastors and civic leaders and law enforcement, it becomes about how do we get our people back down, get them comfortable and let them recognize that even though this is a major tragedy, this will not escalate into something we can't control", Beckley said.