Fatal shooting leads to security changes at North Park Elementary

On Monday, April 10 a gunman entered the North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, fatally shooting his estranged wife and two North Park students, before turning the gun on himself. The gunman was identified as Cedric Anderson, the husband of victim Karen Smith. According to reports, Anderson went to the school intent on harming Smith and in the process killed eight-year-old student Jonathan Martinez and injured nine-year-old Nolan Brandy.

In the week following the shooting, details have emerged of the short lived marriage of Smith and Anderson. Smith, who was a special needs instructor at the elementary school, had recently married Anderson in January of 2017, only to file for divorce in March of 2017. The couple appeared to be happy, but after nearly a month of marriage, Smith’s mother told the LA Times that Smith thought, “she had a wonderful husband, but she found out he was not wonderful at all. He had other motives.” Anderson was a pastor, but was revealed to have a troubled past with charges of domestic abuse and battery, as well as brandishing a firearm and disturbing the peace in 2013.

In the aftermath of the shooting, classes were cancelled for the week and will resume on Monday, April 17. In light of the events that transpired on April 10, the San Bernardino City Unified School District held a meeting on Thursday, April 13, to discuss the security measures that will be taken to ensure the safety of the students. Considering that Anderson was able to enter campus by telling a staffer he was dropping something off for his wife, the school acknowledges that there should be more preventative measures taken to avoid another tragedy.

According to the district spokeswoman Maria Garcia, visitors will now be required to clear a background check and be fingerprinted before being permitted onto the campus. Even further, the visitors will only be allowed into the main office, with some exclusions for visitors who have a “legitimate reason.” Parents were pleased to hear this news, however, these measures will only apply to North Park Elementary and not other schools in the district for the time being.

At the Thursday meeting, counselors were present to comfort students and teachers who were affected by the incident. Families were also given the option to transfer students to independent study if they wished.

Martinez was rushed to the hospital and died from his injuries. His family set up a GoFundMe page in order to pay for the funeral costs. Donations can be made here.

Nolan Brandy was released from the hospital on April 14 and will “continue his recovery in the comfort of his home,” according to Garcia.

Smith leaves behind her four children from a previous marriage, who she also homeschooled.

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