Man who killed wife at California school called her ‘angel’

This undated photo released by the San Bernardino Police Department shows Karen Elaine Smith, 53. Smith has been identified by authorities as one of the people shot by Cedric Anderson, identified as her estranged husband, as she taught a special education class at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, Calif., Monday, April 10, 2017. (San Bernardino Police Department via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) – A man who killed his estranged wife and a special-needs student in her classroom Monday had professed his love for her just last month on social media, including a post that called her “an angel.”

Cedric Anderson had married Karen Elaine Smith in late January. The couple had been estranged for at least a month before Cedric walked into an elementary school in San Bernardino in a targeted attack on his wife, fatally shooting her and striking two of her students, police said. One of the boys died.

On what appeared to be his Facebook page, Anderson posted photos in March smiling and hugging Smith. In a short video posted Feb. 27, the 53-year-old looks into the camera and talks about why he loves her.

“She knows when to ignore me,” he said with a laugh. “Well, it makes a happy marriage.”

Several other of his posts quoted Bible verses. He posted several photos of his wedding to Smith and their honeymoon among the scenic red rocks of Sedona, Arizona.

Anderson had a prior criminal history that included weapons charges, domestic violence and possible drug charges, Burguan said, though he did not immediately provide any other details.

Anderson walked into North Park School on Monday and told a staff member that he needed to drop something off to his wife, police said. Anderson went to her classroom and “without saying anything,” shot Smith with a large-caliber revolver, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said.

Jonathan Martinez, 8, died shortly after being airlifted to a hospital, while a 9-year-old boy, was in stable condition.

Colleagues remembered Smith as a dedicated educator who loved her job.

“It takes a very, very special person to be a special education teacher,” said Maria Garcia, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino City Unified School District. “We want her to be remembered for the amazing teacher that she was.”

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