An apparent murder-suicide unfolded in a San Bernardino elementary school classroom, leaving three dead, including a teacher and 8-year-old boy, police said.
Children held hands as they were led out of the school in lines. According to The Associated Press, one of the adults killed was a teacher, Karen Smith. The deceased child, Jonathan Martinez, was slain because he was standing near the teacher when her estranged husband, Cedric Anderson, opened fire in the classroom. Anderson then killed himself. Another boy was also shot, but is expected to survive.
“We believe this to be a murder suicide. Happened in a class room. Two students have been transported to the hospital,” wrote San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan on Twitter.
The AP reported shortly after the shooting that the wounded students were in critical condition, but Martinez died before he could make it into surgery. San Bernardino police Capt. Ron Maass said the man “had gone to the classroom to visit the woman,” and the children were wounded by being near her when he opened fire, KTLA reported.
The chief wrote that those deceased in the classroom were both adults, one of whom is believed to have been the shooter.
The situation broke with news of an active shooter at the school and some of the photos that emerged from the scene show students clustered in lines outside evoking memories of the Sandy Hook tragedy.
In the San Bernardino shooting, at North Lake Elementary school, Burguan wrote that the threat was over about 45 minutes after it was first reported.
Firefighters wore body armor to the scene.
“Police operations are continuing to secure the area. However, we do believe the threat is down,” the chief wrote. The chief said that the students were taken to an area college.
“All kids have been taken to California State University San Bernardino,” the chief wrote.
There was a massive police response.
The San Bernardino Fire Department wrote as the shooting news broke: “#SBCoFD on scene mult GSW victims at North Park School. Triage and victim count taking place.”
Traumatized parents rushed to the scene, CNN reported, looking for their children.
“I fell to my knees and started saying our father and hail Mary’s. … I’m gonna hug her. … I’m gonna hug her. I hope she is OK,” Brad Hendran, whose daughter is in the second grade, said, according to CNN.
The suspect and victims have not yet been identified.