SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - The man accused of walking into a San Bernardino elementary school classroom and opening fire was targeting his estranged wife, the teacher, to whom he had only been married a few months.
San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said the shooter, Cedric Anderson, 53, walked onto campus at North Park Elementary under the guise of dropping something off for his wife, Karen Elaine Smith, 53.
Once Anderson entered the classroom, he pulled out a long-caliber revolver and opened fire "without saying anything," killing Smith, KTLA reoprts.
Smith, who taught students with special needs, died at the scene, as did Anderson.
After he finished unloading a round that also struck two of Smith's young students, he reloaded and shot himself, police said.
One of the boys, 8-year-old Jonathan Martinez, later died at the hospital, while another 9-year-old boy is listed in stable condition.
On Feb. 6, Anderson posted a video to Facebook from their honeymoon in which the couple appears blissful and carefree.
“We’re having such a good time," Smith says with a smile.
Somewhere along the way, things turned sour.
Police say the couple had been separated for at least a month.
“They’ve been separated for about the last month, month and a half, lately, when this incident took place," he said Monday. "But there’s nobody that, in the investigation, has come forward to say that they saw this coming or knew this was potentially going to happen.”
Investigators are looking into what may have caused the couple to separate.
San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said Anderson has a criminal history that includes weapons charges, domestic violence and possible drug charges. The domestic violence case was likely not from this marriage, he noted.
Smith's mother told the Los Angeles Times that her daughter had known Anderson about four years before they were wed in January
Sykes declined to discuss their relationship troubles but did confirm Smith had abruptly decided to withdraw from the union after she "found out he was not wonderful at all" and was planning to file for divorce, according to the Times.
Smith had been a teacher about 10 years, while Anderson was a pastor, the paper reported.