San Bernardino, California is healing after details are beginning to trickle out from the elementary school shooting that happened yesterday. The death toll was initially reported to be just two adults, the teacher and the shooter, but now the attack has taken one more life, as one of the two wounded children passed away in the hospital. North Park Elementary School remains closed on Tuesday as the rest of the community recovers.
Police have announced that the shooter was 53-year-old Cedric Anderson, who brought a large caliber revolver into the school and entered the classroom where Karen Elaine Smith, Anderson’s estranged wife, was teaching. At 10:30 a.m. on Monday morning, Anderson shot Smith without saying anything else, and proceeded to shoot himself. Two children who were near Anderson were also struck by the final gunfire. 8-year-old Jonathan Martinez died from the injury at the local hospital, while the other child, 9 years old, is currently in stable condition. San Bernardino police said that they have deduced that the children were not targeted in the attack.
The details continue to come out concerning the Anderson-Smith relationship. Joshua Smith, Karen’s adult son from a previous relationship, called Anderson “paranoid and possessive”, which led to Karen Smith leaving him two months after their marriage in January. Based on Anderson’s Facebook posting history, it seems that he was initially a religious man, which goes well with Smith’s faith being common knowledge in the community. However, he recently became more skeptical. For example, he posted about watching Greenleaf, an Oprah Winfrey Network drama about a corrupt pastor and the scandals that follow him. “After watching Greenleaf with my wonderful little wife, she finally understands me and why I feel the way I do about many Black Churches and so called Pastors,” Anderson posted. He later posted that he prays for them “and keep[s his] guns close,” a troubling phrase in hindsight.