Three people were killed and another wounded in what police are describing as a “murder-suicide” in an elementary school in San Bernardino, California, on Monday morning.
Shots were fired in a classroom at North Park Elementary School around 11 a.m. Two adults — a female instructor and a male shooter — died from gunshot wounds. Two children were wounded, and transported to hospital, one by helicopter, another by ambulance.
Officials have identified the victims as Karen Elaine Smith, a 53-year-old special needs teacher, and one of her students, eight-year-old Jonathan Martinez. The shooter, believed to be Smith’s estranged husband, Cedric Anderson, also died at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot. A nine-year-old student, who was hospitalized in critical condition and has not been named, has stabilized.
“I am told that both the students were behind the teacher when the suspect shot his wife,”San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said in a press conference Monday. “We have no reason to believe that the students were targeted, not that it makes it any better.”
Before the shooting, Anderson checked in at the front desk, where he was known to staff. It wasn’t clear until he entered the classroom that he was armed with a handgun, Capt. Ron Maass from the San Bernardino Police Department told reporters at a news conference. The school does not have metal detectors at its entrance.
Maass could not say definitively what the relationship was between the teacher and suspect, and said that there did not appear to have been any restraining order on the suspect. Earlier in the day, police spokesperson Marcia Garcia said that officials believe the shooting was linked to domestic violence.
After the shootings, school was placed on lockdown, and students were transported to nearby Cajon High School for safety.
Monday’s shooting was another painful event in a city that is still reeling from a 2015 terror attack in which 14 were killed and 22 wounded when two gunmen — a married couple — burst into a training sessions at the Inland Regional Center and opened fire with assault rifles.
This post was updated at 7:30 PM ET.