Veteran kills wife at San Bernardino school after making threats

AP PHOTO People pray before placing flowers at a sidewalk memorial to the teacher and student who were shot to death Monday at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, Calif., Tuesday.

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — The man who opened fire in a San Bernardino school was a deeply religious Navy veteran who accused his newlywed wife of infidelity.

They had separated and when they did not reconcile, he went to her special-education classroom and fatally shot her and one of the children she taught before turning the gun on himself, police said Tuesday.

In the weeks before Monday’s violence, Karen Smith told family members her new husband, Cedric Anderson, had tried to get her to return home and threatened her, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said. She didn’t take him seriously and thought he was just seeking attention, he said.

Police do not know what triggered the attack or why Anderson chose to shoot Smith at the school, Burguan said, adding that she never shared any information about her marital problems with colleagues.

“She effectively kept her private life private,” Burguan said.

Hundreds of panicked parents descended on North Park Elementary School on Monday, waiting for hours for information on their children in a city that is still on edge 16 months after a terror attack that killed 14 people and wounded 22 others at a meeting of county employees.

Anderson, 53, walked into the special-education classroom and fired 10 shots with a .357 Magnum, targeting his wife but also hitting two of her students.

Killed was Jonathan Martinez, 8, who had a rare genetic condition known as Williams syndrome and had survived heart surgery. A 9-year-old boy also was shot but was in stable condition and in good spirits, watching cartoons in his hospital bed Tuesday, police said.