Gunman posted about 'angel' wife before killing her in classroom

Carla Harmon
April 13, 2017

When Cedric Anderson entered North Park Elementary School to see his wife, Karen Smith, who worked as a special needs teacher, there was no indication to staff that something was amiss.

The students were not targeted but were standing behind Smith when her estranged husband opened fire, Burguan added.

According to her four grown children, Anderson had been threatening Smith for some time. The gunman, Cedric Anderson, then fatally shot himself.

Smith, 53, was killed in the shooting. Hundreds of parents, students and community members honored the memories of Jonathan Martinez and his teacher Karen Smith. The other student, a 9-year-old boy, remains hospitalized.

A ritual all too familiar in San Bernardino.

"And today is the day for that", said Bishop Gerald Barnes, of the Diocese of San Bernardino.


Mourners participated in candlelight vigils at North Park Elementary and Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church to remember the victims, heal together and to find hope. "It was someone we knew".

But those close to Smith told police she said Anderson's behavior had become odd and he had threatened her, Burguan said. Jonathan had previously undergone heart surgery. Yet those at school knew nothing of this discord.

"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.

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

During a search of Anderson's Riverside home Monday, police found a note written by Anderson indicating he felt disrespected and needed closure.

Unlike the 2015 massacre, carried out by a radicalized Muslim couple in what authorities described as an act of terrorism, police said the latest shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute between the suspect and his wife.


The slain student and another boy hit by gunfire happened to be just behind Smith and were believed to be unintentional victims.

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".

Williams syndrome is a genetic condition characterized by a series of medical problems, including heart disease, developmental delays, learning disabilities, kidney issues and hypertension.

Anderson's ex-wife, Natalie Anderson, had sought a restraining order against him in 1996 after he told her he would kill her and her children and take his own life when she refused to pay for their divorce, according to court documents obtained by the New York Daily News.

The Mexican government issued a statement regarding the boy's death, saying it "profoundly laments the death of a minor with Mexican nationality and the death of his teacher".


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