A shooting occurred at San Bernardino's North Park Elementary on Monday morning, and while police sorted out details of what happened, photos of the scene came out throughout the afternoon. A heartbreaking photo of San Bernardino elementary children holding hands while evacuating from their school emerged as a poignant image from the shooting that will stay with you.
UPDATE: An 8-year-old student was confirmed dead in the aftermath of the shooting at North Park Elementary School. Jonathan Martinez was pronounced dead after being airlifted to the hospital. According to San Bernardino County Police Department Chief Jarrod Burguan, two adults also died in what is believed to be a murder suicide. North Park Elementary School teacher Karen Elaine Smith was reportedly shot and killed by her husband, who then killed himself. Another student is in the hospital in stable condition.
EARLIER: With the large volume of mass shootings in America, sometimes it can feel sadly detached to recount the horrifying events as they unfold. This photo of elementary school children lined up on the grass outside of their classroom is a terrible reminder of the horror that comes with these attacks.
The kids are being led by their teachers safely out of the school, where a horrible tragedy occurred. It's not difficult to imagine that there must have been some panic rippling through the swarm of teachers and students as they made their way out of the building. Although gun violence is a reality in America, when young children are involved, it takes a gut-wrenching turn.
There isn't yet much information about the North Park Elementary School shooting so far, but according to San Bernardino police chief Jarrod Burguan, at least four victims have been reported, with two adults dead. The police believe the attack was a murder-suicide. It will possibly be dubbed a mass shooting. Typically, a shooting is considered a mass shooting when four or more people are injured or killed by gunfire.
One of the most notable school shootings in recent history occurred in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, where 28 people, including 20 children, died. Thankfully, the number of injured at North Park Elementary is much lower, but even one injury at an elementary school shooting is too much.
San Bernardino itself has experienced a shooting before. In 2015, two shooters in San Bernardino killed 14 people and wounded 22 others in an attack during a company holiday party.
While kids often practice emergency drills in their classrooms, no one ever imagines that they will one day be required to use them. Children should not be affected by gun violence, and it is time for Americans to make a change to reduce gun violence so children like the ones holding hands in this photo do not have to experience this kind of tragedy.