Boy killed in class was 'happy child' with rare disorder

It was the location that made the killings stand out - an elementary school in violence-racked San Bernardino, a community still recovering from a mass shooting that left 14 people dead less than two years ago.

Terrance Stone, CEO of Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy, a nonprofit that provides outreach and training to the city's youth, also rushed to Cajon High School, where North Park parents had gone to reunite with their children.

Counsellors have been made available at North Park Elementary after Anderson walked into the classroom with a concealed handgun and opened fire.

Smith, 53, spent the next month staying with her adult children in Moreno Valley and Riverside, as Anderson contacted her repeatedly trying to persuade her to come home, Burguan said.

Burguan did not elaborate except to say there was no "specific threat to shoot her". He kept his weapon concealed until opening fire in the classroom without saying a word, then reloaded and shot himself to death.

Mrs Sykes said her daughter had taught Sunday school for years before joining North Park School. The two were killed when Smith's estranged husband came to her classroom and open fired Monday morning.

Eight-year-old Jonathan Martinez passed away at Loma Linda University Medical Center after being airlifted from the school; the other student who was struck, a 9-year-old boy, is now listed in stable condition at the hospital. There he shot and killed Smith, as well as 8-year-old Jonathan Martinez, according to USA Today.

Just weeks before the shooting, Anderson had professed his love to Smith in a series of social media posts, including one that called her an "angel".

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Smith was doing what every unhelpful spectator who doesn't understand domestic violence suggests women do when they're being abused: She was leaving.

"He told her he would throw her out the window", Skyes added.

"For us as pastors and civic leaders and law enforcement, it becomes about how do we get our people back down, get them comfortable and let them recognize that even though this is a major tragedy, this will not escalate into something we can't control", Beckley said. When she broke free, she had bruises on both arms, the document read. She said he pushed her onto the bed and left the apartment with a "a large butcher knife in his hand". Anderson had accused her of infidelity, but police said they had not confirmed anything. He was arrested four times between 1982 and 2013, but was never convicted in any of the cases, Burguan said. Their divorce was finalized the next year.

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

Jeanette Gordon, who lives near the elementary school, said she sensed something bad had happened as soon as she heard the blare of sirens filling her neighborhood. The note would not have been alarming if not for this violent event, he said.

As the investigation continues, the school will remain closed until next Monday.

The boy died at a hospital after being shot Monday in his classroom by the estranged husband of his teacher, Karen Smith, who also was killed.

"She loved on kids".

  • Rita Burton