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: On April 10, San Bernardino, California, once again became the site of tragedy when a shooter opened fire in a classroom at North Park Elementary School in what police believe to be a murder-suicide. During a press conference, police revealed that the San Bernardino school shooting victims include one deceased shooting victim and two wounded students who police say are in critical condition. Along with the victims, police said that the gunman is also deceased. The identities of the victims both alive and dead were not released during the press conference.
Along with the police spokesman who lead the press conference, the San Bernardino school system's superintendent, Dr. Dale Marsden, said "our hearts are broken" in reference to the shooting. The city's mayor, R. Carey Davis, also spoke, and told the assembled crowd that a representative from the White House called to express the president's concern and support for the city in response to the shooting at North Park Elementary.
Many will recall that San Bernardino was the site of another tragic shooting in late 2015, when a couple opened fire at a holiday party in a massacre that killed 14 people and injured 22 others. There does not currently appear to be any connection between these two shootings other than location.
Two adults are deceased in a classroom, believed to be a murder suicide. We believe the suspect is down and there's no further threat.— Chief Jarrod Burguan (@SBPDChief) April 10, 2017
School shootings are unfortunately common in the United States -- research by Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy group, states that before this shooting in San Bernardino, there's been 219 school shootings the U.S. since 2013, the year after the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings that left 26 dead. There were 11 incidents of discharged weapons in 2017 alone, three of which were intended as attacks on other people by a shooter.
Shootings at high schools and colleges weren't unheard-of before Sandy Hook, but since then, the numbers of attacks at elementary schools have been well-documented, and the numbers are scary. Between 2013 and 2015, Everytown recorded 24 shootings at elementary schools, and last fall, Townville, SC became the site of yet another shooting at an elementary school. Luckily, only two children and one teacher were injured in the Townville playground shooting, and the shooter's father was the only associated death.
Elementary school classrooms should be safe places, full of kindness - never horror. My heart is breaking for #SanBernardino.— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) April 10, 2017
Although the identities of the victims of the San Bernardino school shooting aren't yet known, it's important to respect their privacy and the privacy of their families and communities during this horrible event. Our hearts go out to the victims, and to the San Bernardino community at large as they once again mourn after a shooting in their city.