RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The estranged husband and wife who died in a murder-suicide at a San Bernardino elementary school had dated for four years before getting married this January.
The marriage of Karen Smith and Cedric Anderson seemed a happy one at first, according to family members.
Both had been married previously and Smith had raised four children before getting a degree in education, focusing on children with special needs.
Video and photos posted online show the Riverside couple on what appeared to be a happy honeymoon in Arizona.
But it wasn't long before Anderson began to show a different side to him, according to Smith's mother.
"We thought he was a fine person," Smith's mother, Irma Sykes, told Eyewitness News. "Until they were married and then he showed the other side of him. Which we had never seen before. We were shocked."
"He began to pick on my daughter and talk down to her. And they had dated for four years. And after about three weeks, my husband and I decided, you need to get away from him. He is not the kind of person you thought he was."
About a month ago the couple separated. Anderson kept trying to reach out to his wife, but she wasn't returning his calls, Sykes said.
On Monday, Anderson showed up at Smith's school and gunned her down in the classroom, police said. The bullets also struck two special-needs children, killing an 8-year-old and wounding a 9-year-old.
Police converged on Smith's home in Riverside looking for clues about what triggered the shooting as neighbors said the couple had seemed nice, but mostly kept to themselves.