San Bernardino School Shooting Leaves 2 Dead – New York Times
Gunfire erupted inside an elementary school classroom in San Bernardino, Calif., on Monday, leaving two adults dead in what the authorities said was an apparent murder-suicide. Two students were also critically injured in the attack.
The injured students were taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital from the school, North Park Elementary, said Jarrod Burguan, the San Bernardino police chief.
One of the four victims appeared to be the man who carried out the shooting, which was targeted at a female teacher at the school, officers said during an afternoon news conference.
The shooter entered the school through the front office and was probably checked for his identification, the police said. Officers were still confirming his identity and were searching his home.
“Tragedy again has befallen our city,” said Lt. Mike Madden, a spokesman for the police department, who was one of the first responders to the terrorist attack in San Bernardino in 2015.
It was still unclear what the relationship was between the victim and the shooter, Mr. Madden said, but the man may have been able to enter the school because he was visiting the teacher. There was no indication of an earlier threat at the school, which does not have metal detectors.
The two injured students were not targets of the attack, but appeared to be near the teacher when the shots were fired. It was unclear how old the students were, and officials said it might have been a mixed-grade classroom. No other adult was in the room.
Capt. Ron Maass said that officers arrived at the school seven minutes after they received the first call about the shooting, just before 10:30 a.m.
Other students at North Park were taken to California State University, San Bernardino for safety. The police said it would take several hours for the students to be released to their parents.
Several parents who went to the high school complained about the confusion over where to reunite with their children and said that they had only heard about the shooting from friends who live in the area. One man said he had received a call from his daughter, a sixth grader, before the school notified him.
“She was just in a panic, but what kid wouldn’t be in a situation like that?” he said.
Arnetta Carpenter, 70, the grandmother of two children at the school — ages 7 and 9 — was in a meeting at the nearby New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, where she is the minister, when a staff member walked in to tell her about the shooting.
She ran to the phone to call her son.
“He said ‘Mama, I’m here,’” she recalled, relieved.
“Children should never have to witness something like this,” she said. “It hasn’t been that long since the other shooting happened in San Bernardino. It really shows how we need to be close to the Lord.”
Lyida Beltran, 56, went to pick up her two grandchildren who attend North Park. Though they appeared to be unharmed, she was worried about the other effects of the shooting.
“Mentally, we’ll have to wait and see,” she said “Hopefully, it didn’t happen in their classroom. We don’t even know. What have we come to?”
A spokeswoman from the Police Department posted a picture on Twitter from the inside of the gymnasium where the students were waiting, saying that they were being taken care of and entertained with glow sticks, checkers and a Disney movie while they waited for their parents.
The school will be closed for at least two days, said Dale Marsden, the superintendent of the school district. Several counselors were sent to talk with students, he said, who may also be questioned by investigators about the shooting.
Mayor R. Carey Davis of San Bernardino said he had received a call from the White House and that President Trump offered to help “in any way possible.” Betsy DeVos, the secretary of education who has supported Mr. Trump’s promise to ban gun-free zones around schools, wrote on Twitter asking “everyone to join me in keeping the victims and all those impacted by today’s senseless violence in your prayers.”
North Park Elementary is about 10 miles from the site of the 2015 attack. The city, which is predominantly working-class, has also seen a significant increase in violent crime in the last year. There were 62 murders in the city last year, compared with 44 in 2015, including the 14 victims of the attack.
Roughly 500 students, who are predominantly Latino, attend North Park Elementary.
This is a developing story. Please return for updates.
Powered by WPeMatico