April 11 (UPI) — A 9-year-old boy wounded in the shooting Monday at a Southern California elementary school is recovering and expected to survive, officials said.
The boy was shot with his teacher and a classmate in a classroom at San Bernardino’s North Park Elementary School. Those two died from their injuries. The suspected gunman, Cedric Anderson, killed himself at the scene.
“All things considered, he’s in relatively good spirits,” San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said Tuesday at a news conference.
According to police, Anderson entered the elementary Monday and told school officials he had to drop something off to the teacher — his wife, 53-year-old Karen Elaine Smith. When he got to her classroom, which held a class for special needs children, he pulled a .357 magnum handgun and began firing without saying a word, investigators said.
Both boys were near Smith when she was shot. Police don’t believe Anderson intended to shoot the students.
Anderson and Smith had only been married for just two months, and police said he had threatened her before. Officials said the couple were separated at the time of the shooting.
“She had mentioned that his behavior was odd and that she was concerned about his behavior and that he had made some threats towards her,” Burguan said. “She thought he was reaching out for attention.”
Police said that Anderson had fired 10 bullets inside the classroom and stopped to reload once before shooting himself in the head.
Authorities reviewing the attack said it’s not uncommon for a relative or spouse of an employee to be allowed to go to a classroom without an escort.
“[The school personnel] knew nothing about the crisis they were in,” San Bernardino City Unified School District Supt. Dale Marsden said. “There was no indication to anyone on staff that there was a potential threat.”
The boy who died from his injuries was identified Monday as Jonathan Martinez, 8, who had a rare congenital disorder.. The injured boy was not immediately named.
“Sometimes all we can do is cry. And today is the day for that,” Bishop Gerald Barnes, from the Diocese of San Bernardino, said. “We’ll get up again, we’ll move on, we’ll become stronger. But today is the day to cry, that we have come to such a state.”