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San Bernardino school shooter fired 10 shots, reloaded once
16 April 2017, 02:26 | Maryann Sutton
- The San Bernardino community gathered together Tuesday night for a candlelight vigil in honor of the school shooting victims at North Park Elementary.
Eight-year-old Jonathan Martinez was standing near his special education teacher when both were fatally shot in a San Bernardino elementary school classroom.
Her mother, Irma Sykes, told the Los Angeles Times the couple had been friends for four years before they married in January and that her daughter "decided she needed to leave him" after just a month.
New information released Tuesday provides a glimpse into the chaos that ensued after an alleged shooter walked into his estranged wife's classroom in San Bernardino and opened fire, and why his case in Kern County was dismissed.
Anderson fired a total of 10 shots, and re-loaded the weapon once, Burguan said.
While San Bernardino has long struggled with high levels of violence, last year it marked a grim milestone as police recorded 62 killings - making it the deadliest year since 1995.
Dale Marsden, superintendent of the San Bernardino City Unified School District, stated that Jonathan Martinez had Williams syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by learning delays, mild-to-moderate intellectual disabilities and heart problems. Jonathan was also struck and killed by the gunfire.
The police chief also said a note believed to be from Anderson had been found that talked about needing closure and feeling disrespected.
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Fifteen students and two adult teacher assistants were in the classroom at the time of the shooting, police said. She enjoys creating original stories and telling them on the spot and says things like "You're looking at a professional book writer".
Police said Cedric Anderson, 53, of Riverside, shot his estranged wife, Karen Elaine Smith, 53, a teacher at the school, before he killed himself.
"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.
When school staff let Anderson in, they didn't know his relationship with Smith was on the rocks, police said. "He did not make a specific threat to shoot her", Burguan said.
"Parents often say the joy and perspective a child with Williams syndrome brings into their lives had been unimaginable", Marsden said Tuesday, quoting from the Williams syndrome Association.
Chief Burguan said at Tuesday's news conference that nobody at the school's front desk "was aware of marital discord", and that an employee in the school office recognized Anderson, 53. But talking about him was too just too much, and she broke down in tears.
All of the incidents detail an alleged history of domestic violence prior to the shooting Monday in San Bernardino. "But I find comfort in joining with you in prayer and hope for the families impacted". He said Smith also had confided to relatives that she was concerned about his "odd" behaviour and that "he had made some threats toward her".
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