LOS ANGELES, April 10 (Xinhua) -- A female teacher and an eight-year-old boy were killed Monday morning after the teacher's husband opened fire before taking his own life inside a special needs classroom at an elementary school in San Bernardino, Southern California.
The gunfire was reported at 10:27 a.m. local time (1827 GMT) in North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, according to San Bernardino Police Department.
"I heard of about three or four gunshots in the morning...then I saw an African American running out of the school holding a kid," local resident Maria Villataro who lived just across the school told Xinhua.
The female teacher was identified as Karen Smith, 53, who was killed before the gunman turned the gun on himself. The gunman was identified by law enforcement officials as Smith's husband, Cedric Charles Anderson, 53, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan told reporters Monday afternoon.
The chief said the couple had only been married for a few months.Anderson, who had been estranged from his wife for about a month, got into the school by saying he had to drop something off for Smith, officials said.
Two students standing behind Smith were also shot. Police do not believe that the two children were targeted. "We believe this to be a murder suicide," Burguan posted on his twitter.
One of the students, identified as eight-year-old child Jonathan Martinez, was taken via helicopter to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead. The other injured, a nine-year-old student, remains hospitalized in stable condition, police said.
Police said the gunman had checked in with school officials before going to the classroom, which held a class for students with intellectual disabilities. There were 15 students from first through fourth grades in the room at the time, and two adult aides.
Students in the school were evacuated after the incident. "All kids have been taken to California State University San Bernardino," Burguan tweeted.
North Park Elementary has about 530 students between kindergarten and sixth grade, mostly from Latino families. The school is on lockdown along with two others nearby.
Local residents lit candles and prayed Monday night at a community vigil to mourn the victims. The city, still healing from the 2015 terror attack, has seen a major increase in violence in recent years. On Dec. 2, 2015, at least 14 people were killed and more than 20 others were injured after gunmen opened fire at a social services center in San Bernardino City.
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