The family of a 53-year-old Riverside man who gunned down his wife and killed an 8-year-old boy issued a statement Tuesday.
A relative of Cedric Anderson, who fatally shot North Park Elementary School teacher Karen Smith and one of her special needs students in her classroom Monday morning, contacted KTLA with the statement.
“To the victims and their families, there are no words to express our deepest sympathy for what our son, father, brother, uncle, cousin, friend has done,” read the statement. “Because of this horrible, heinous, disgusting, senseless crime that was committed upon humanity, every life connected will forever be changed.”
The statement continued: “To the families connected, my heart is truly heavy and if I could bring your loved ones back, please know that I would go to the end of the Earth and give my last breath trying.”
The relative, who read the statement over the phone to KTLA, thanked family and friends for prayers and support.
“I’m trying to find God in my quietness, just so that I can breathe and speak again,” the family member said.
Anderson and Smith had married in January after knowing each other for several years. But things turned sour for unknown reasons and Smith wanted a divorce, Smith’s mother told the Los Angeles Times.
Smith moved out of Anderson’s Riverside home in March and had rebuffed his entreaties to get her to return, San Bernardino Police Department Chief Jarrod Burguan said Tuesday. He had threatened her, but not with shooting, and she suspected he just wanted her attention, the chief said.
It’s not clear why he went to her school to kill her.
On Monday morning, Anderson checked in at the front office at North Park, saying he needed to drop something off with Smith. He proceeded to her classroom and wordlessly opened fire with a large-caliber revolver.
He killed Smith and struck two of her students, who were behind the teacher. Eight-year-old Jonathan Martinez died at a hospital and a 9-year-old boy remained in stable condition.
Anderson then turned the gun on himself.
He left no suicide note, but police found a handwritten document indicating he felt disrespected and wanted resolution, Burguan said.
An unemployed maintenance worker who had been a pastor, Anderson had been arrested four times since 1982 but was never convicted of any charge.
He had three adult children; Smith leaves behind four adult children.