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Community Mourns As New Information On San Bernardino School Shooting Suspect Emerges

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (CBSNewYork/AP) — An elementary school in San Bernardino, CA remained closed Tuesday after a school shooting that left three dead, including a young student.

Community members continue to leave flowers and personal notes outside of North Park Elementary School the day after the horrifying shooting inside a special-ed classroom.

“I’m saddened for the families of the teacher and the little boy,” San Bernardino resident Gina Villegas tells CBS2’s Danielle Nottingham.

Police say 53-year-old Cedric Anderson walked into his estranged wife’s class Monday morning with a handgun and opened fire. 53-year-old Karen Smith was killed, and stray bullets also took the life of eight-year-old student Jonathan Martinez.

The city’s school district released a photo of Martinez Tuesday, and announced a candlelight vigil at North Park Elementary scheduled for Tuesday night.

Another nine-year-old student was also wounded in the crossfire.

“He is in stable condition,” San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan. “Last report, all things considered, he is in relatively good spirits.”

Anderson then turned the gun on himself. Authorities say he was know to school staff and simply walked in, telling them he needed to drop something off to his wife.

“We just had to hide under our desks and then the SWATs came to the classroom and they told us to put our hands up and we had to do it calmly and we walked out of the classroom,” student Christian Flores said.

[graphiq id=”fZImdmwYjtP” title=”Shooting at San Bernardino Elementary School” width=”600″ height=”570″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/fZImdmwYjtP” ]

Police say Anderson had a troubled past, including domestic violence and weapons charges. The couple had been married for just a few months.

Some six weeks earlier, Anderson was a newlywed calling his wife an “angel” in one of many social media posts professing his love. What appears to be Anderson’s Facebook page features the declarations amid statements of religious devotion before his last public post on March 15.

“What I love about my wife,” Anderson said on a video posted to his Facebook page, “she knows when to ignore me. Well, it makes a happy marriage.”

Police say Anderson threatened Smith when she moved out of their house, authorities said Tuesday.

Smith told those closest to her that she didn’t necessarily take the threats from her new husband seriously but thought Cedric Anderson was reaching out for attention, Chief Burguan told reporters Tuesday.

“It appears that he had been making efforts to contact her and to have her come back home and she was resistant to that,” Burguan said. “And I don’t know if that just reached a boiling point, or what that was. Nor do we know exactly why he chose to do this at the school.”

The couple had married in January and separated in mid-March, with Smith leaving to stay with family, Burguan said. Anderson had accused her of infidelity, but police said they had not confirmed anything.

“Those closest to her said that she had mentioned that his behavior was odd, and that she was concerned about his behavior, and that he had made some threats toward her,” the police chief said. “He did not make a specific threat to shoot her.”

Investigators found a note that made reference to the relationship, feeling dishonored and “moving forward with no regrets,” Burguan said. But outside the context of the shooting, nothing about the note would have been alarming, he said.

Family members say Smith was a special person.

“Karen was an awesome, awesome lady,” relative Jessica Alexander tells CBS News. “She was a beautiful mom, a beautiful teacher.”

Counselors have been made available at a nearby school for Smith’s students and coworkers.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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