Published: Sun, April 16, 2017
Business | By Sandy Mccarthy

Massive vigil held at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino


This undated photo released by the San Bernardino Police Department shows Karen Elaine Smith, 53.

San Bernardino, a city of 216,000 people about 60 miles east of Los Angeles, was the site of a December 2015 terror attack that killed 14 people and wounded 22 others at a meeting of San Bernardino County employees.

The suspected shooter was later identified as 53-year-old Cedric Anderson of Riverside.

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong).

A candlelight vigil was planned for the victims Tuesday evening at North Park Elementary School.

An overflow crowd gathered at sunset at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in San Bernardino to mourn and pray for the victims and survivors of Monday's shooting. "The real Cedric came out", Irma Skyes, 80, told New York Daily News.

"I know him because one day he just walked up to me and said, 'Can we be friends?' and I said, 'Yeah, ' and we've been friends ever since", he said.

"It appears that he had been making efforts to contact her and to have her come back home and she was resistant to that", Burguan said.

The couple divorced in 1997.

Burguan said security footage shows Anderson at first tried to enter through other doors, which were locked.

A special-needs teacher slain by her estranged husband at a San Bernardino elementary school is being remembered as someone who loved children.

Mary Fields, a fellow teacher, said Smith loved kids.

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Rep. Norma Torres said her "heart breaks for those who were killed and injured and for the young students who have had their innocence shattered by this tragedy".

“This is a rare occurrence in our schools, ” school district Superintendent Dale Marsden said.

At the same time, those with the syndrome often are highly social and have "striking verbal abilities" and an affinity for music, the superintendent said.

"By all accounts, Jonathan Martinez was a happy child", Marsden said Tuesday at a news conference. In addition, one student died as a result of the gunfire and another student was hospitalized.

Jonathan died. The 9-year-old survived and was in stable condition, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan told reporters on Tuesday. Last month, a man who reportedly abused his estranged wife allegedly killed her divorce lawyer, two of her co-workers, and a responding police officer in Wisconsin.

Burguan said the note, which investigators believe was written by Anderson, referenced his relationship with Smith, his need for closure and how he felt disrespected. He kept his weapon concealed until opening fire in the classroom without saying a word, then reloaded and shot himself to death.

Chief Burguan also said Anderson had four arrests in 20 years, but none of the cases ended in a conviction. His employment history included working as a pastor and maintenance work. He didn't provide more details.

Burguan said police searched Anderson's residence and did not find a suicide note.

The two had dated for four years and got married in January.

School shootings have grabbed so many headlines in recent years that we've nearly become accustomed to them.

Mrs Sykes said her daughter had taught Sunday school for years before joining North Park School.

He was at work when he heard about the shooting from the boys' mom, who works for the school district. He then shot and killed himself.

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