Family Mourns 8-Year-Old Shot in Murder-
Suicide in His Special Needs Classroom
‘Our Family Angel’
That’s how relatives are remembering 8-year-old Jonathan Martinez, a student who was shot and killed on Monday at an elementary school in San Bernardino, California.
Police say Jonathan was one of two students hit in the gunfire at North Park Elementary — though their teacher, 53-year-old Karen Elaine Smith, was the target.
Smith’s “estranged” husband, Cedric Anderson, came to her special education classroom just before 10:30 a.m. and opened fire on her without saying a word, according to police. He then shot and killed himself.
Jonathan and another boy, 9, were behind Smith at the time and were also hit, police said.
Jonathan died. The 9-year-old survived and was in stable condition, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan told reporters on Tuesday.
Burguan said the wounded boy “is doing better and the last report we have, all things considered, [is that] he is in relatively good spirits.”
PEOPLE was not immediately able to reach relatives of Jonathan, who authorities said had Williams syndrome — a genetic condition characterized by medical problems including cardiovascular disease, developmental delays and learning disabilities.
San Bernardino City Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Dale Marsden said at a Tuesday news conference that he had met with the Martinez family following the shooting.
“By all accounts Jonathan Martinez was a happy child,” he said.
Marsden added, “The family wants, in memory of Jonathan, for our nation to be aware and conscious of what is Williams Syndrome. … Parents often say the joy and perspective that the child with this syndrome brings into their lives had been unimaginable.”
Some family members also appeared to take to social media and the Internet to mourn.
In a GoFundMe created by a cousin, Jonathan was described as the “family angel.”