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What We Know About the Elementary School Shooting in San Bernardino

Police say the shooting, apparently a murder-suicide, may have been an act of domestic violence.

by Mike Pearl
Apr 10 2017, 8:57pm

Updated on Monday at 3:54 PM: According to the Associated Press, one of the student victims, an eight-year-old, has died. This post has been edited to reflect this new information. 

Updated on Monday at 4:33 PM: The San Bernardino Police Department tweeted that the alleged shooter was Cedric Anderson, a 53-year-old resident of Riverside, California. 

Updated on Monday at 4:42 PM: San Bernardino Police gave extensive details at a press conference on Monday afternoon. The deceased eight-year-old victim was named Jonathan Martinez. The adult victim was the alleged shooter's wife, Karen Smith. According to the local news station KTLA, the students "were not the gunman's targets."

San Bernardino, California, was rocked by gun violence once again on Monday morning, when a man, a woman, and one eight-year-old student were killed, and one student was hospitalized in an apparent murder-suicide. The crime scene in this case was a special needs classroom at North Park Elementary, and the incident was quickly suspected by local officials to be the product of a domestic dispute. 

As Tom Winter of NBC News tweeted, law enforcement believe the shooting was a "domestic violence incident" targeting the adult victim—apparently a female teacher. Maria Garcia, spokesperson for San Bernardino's school district, told the local NBC affiliate in an on-air interview, "We believe the teacher knew who the shooter was." For his part, San Bernardino Police Lt. Michael Madden told reporters on Monday that the assailant was male.

Shortly after the shooting, the hospitalized students were said to be in critical condition, but as of this writing, their identities and whereabouts had not been made public. The announcement of one student's death came shortly before 4PM.

According to the Associated Press, the scene near the school was chaotic in the immediate aftermath of the violence. Parents tried in vain to learn what happened, expressing frustration that they couldn't verify that their kids were OK, since they typically didn't have mobile phones. By early afternoon local time, police suggested there was no longer any threat to public safety. But confusion persisted, as students at the school were initially said to be getting bussed to nearby California State University-San Bernardino. Police also told parents, however, to wait at El Cajon High School, where their identities were being verified, according to the LA Times.

This shooting occurred about eight miles North of the Inland Regional Center, where 14 people were shot to death and 22 were injured in a terrorist attack 16 months ago. In recent months, the murder rate in San Bernardino, the 100th largest city in the United States, has actually surpassed past Chicago's on a per capita basis. The city saw a major uptick in violence last year, with 63 murders, a 50 percent increase compared to with average of the five prior years.

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