A teacher and an 8-year-old boy were shot and killed on the morning of April 10 at an elementary school in San Bernardino, California.
Cedric Anderson, 53, entered a classroom at North Park Elementary School and opened fire on his wife, Karen Elaine Smith, 53, said San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan, reports the Los Angeles Times.
There were 15 students from first through fourth grades in the room and two adult aides, Burguan said.
Two students standing behind Smith were also shot, police said. One of them, Jonathan Martinez, was flown by helicopter to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. The other student who was wounded remains hospitalized and in stable condition.
Anderson was armed with a high-caliber revolver, but the gun went unnoticed as he checked in with school officials before going to his wife's classroom, explained San Bernardino Police Capt. Ron Maass.
His presence at the school was not considered suspicious, because it's "not uncommon for a spouse to be able to gain access to a campus to meet with their spouse," he said.
Smith and Anderson got married in January, according to Smith's mother, Irma Sykes. However, shortly after their wedding, Smith "decided to pull away," Sykes said.
“She thought she had a wonderful husband, but she found out he was not wonderful at all. He had other motives. She left him and that’s where the trouble began. She broke up with him and he came out with a different personality. She decided she needed to leave him. She was going to divorce him.”
Sykes, 80, also described Anderson as “a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” reports the New York Daily News. “As soon as they married, he turned on her. The real Cedric came out."
She described her daughter as a "wonderful, God-fearing woman," adding that Anderson had been a pastor for 17 years. "But the bible says, 'Thou shalt not kill.' So I can imagine where he is now."
Project Islamic Hope executive director Najee Al confirmed that Anderson was a “respected pastor," but admitted that nobody "knew the dark side in his private life."
Regarding the murder-suicide, Al speculated: “It seems he snapped. He couldn’t handle it and chose to deal with it in the most cowardly manner possible. I can’t forgive that. I hope he burns in hell for what he did.”
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos chimed in with a statement on Twitter: “My heart and prayers go out to the victims of today's horrible act in #SanBernardino & to the whole North Park Elem. School community.”