Cedric Anderson left a note saying he felt dishonored and needed closure, but anyone who read it before Monday wouldn’t have seen it as a sign of the San Bernardino school shooting, the city’s police chief said.
New details emerged Tuesday about Anderson’s past and his relationship with his estranged wife, whom he fatally shot in front of her students, also hitting two boys in her class.
Before Monday’s shooting, though, none of them seemed alarming on the surface, and even Anderson’s wife, Karen Elaine Smith, may not have taken them seriously.
Anderson had threatened her, but Smith took the threat as a cry for attention, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said during a news conference Tuesday.
Down to the very moments before the shooting, it appeared no one suspected anything was amiss. Anderson simply entered the school’s office, explained he needed to see his wife, and was allowed to proceed.
“There was nobody at the school who was aware of marital discord,” Burguan said. “She effectively kept her private life private.”
Anderson, 53, opened fire in a classroom at North Park Elementary School, where Smith, also 53, taught 15 special education students with the help of two adult aides.
He targeted Smith as two boys stood behind her, police said. The shooting killed Smith and one of the boys, Jonathan Martinez, 8.
The other boy, a 9-year-old, remains hospitalized at Loma Linda University Medical Center, but he’s expected to survive after being shot in his upper body.
“He’s up and was watching cartoons as he was interviewed,” Marsden said.
Jonathan had Williams syndrome, a genetic condition characterized by cardiovascular disease and learning disabilities. His family wasn’t present during the news conference, but Marsden said they want to use Monday’s shooting to raise awareness of the syndrome.
Investigators said Anderson was armed with a .357-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, first purchased in Michigan in 1979, and he fired 10 rounds, including one used on himself in what police have called a murder-suicide.