Armed staff wouldn't have stopped San Bernardino school shooting, police chief says

SAN BERNARDINO >> North Park Elementary School could have been made safer, to prevent tragedies like the April 10 shooting that left a teacher and a student dead, but it would require turning the school into a “prison,” according to San Bernardino’s police chief.

“Can you create a prison out of a school?” San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said Thursday. “I’m not so sure people want that.”

North Park reopened on Monday, after being closed for a week following the shooting. Cedric Anderson, 53, of Riverside, entered the special education classroom of his estranged wife, Karen Smith, and opened fire, killing her and 8-year-old student Jonathan Martinez and wounding Nolan Brandy, 9.

Anderson and Smith had been married Jan. 28, but had separated in March, police officials said. Smith had apparently not told anyone at the school about the separation.

Anderson reportedly signed in at the front desk and told office staff he was there to drop something off for his wife. Once inside the classroom — without a word — he pulled out a six-shot .357 Magnum revolver and started firing, striking Smith. Anderson then reloaded using a speed-loader, firing a total of 10 bullets. Students Jonathan and Nolan were struck in the exchange. Anderson then turned the gun on himself.

• Photos: Students and staff return to North Park Elementary School a week after shooting

North Park staff has security comparable to or better than other public schools, Burguan said.


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