Community reeling from shooting death of 24-year-old San Bernardino middle school teacher

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- Students returned to class Monday in the wake of the fatal shooting of their 24-year-old middle school teacher whose grieving family continues to ask how someone could open fire on the young mother as she drove near a San Bernardino park with her 5-year-old son.

Police are searching for a suspect in the killing of Nancy Magana, but have little description of the shooter to go by.

Magana was with her boyfriend and driving his truck with her son in the vehicle when they stopped near Delmann Heights Park on Aug. 17.

Police responded to the area of 30th and Flores streets near the park around 2 a.m. Saturday.

Magana was transported to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Family members said she was a seventh-grade math teacher at Del Vallejo Middle School and graduate of Cal State San Bernardino, where she played soccer and worked as a referee.

"She didn't owe anything to anybody, so why? Why her? Why not somebody who did bad stuff?" said her sister, Maria Magana. "Nobody wishes anything on anybody else, but why not somebody else? Why her?"

It was her first teaching job and she had just started two weeks ago.

"The district has suffered a great loss, the students have suffered a great loss because she was gonna make some positive changes in their lives," said Interim Vice Principal Hershey McChesney.

Dozens gathered at a vigil to remember Magana on Sunday, devastated by her sudden murder.

Magana was remembered for her big heart and bright smile.

"We just appreciate the whole community being here for my cousin," said Felipe Magana. "We're just devastated. This shouldn't happen."

School staff said they will do everything possible to help Magana's students during such a troubling time.

"I think each one is gonna be affected differently. So we're here to try to bring normalcy back into their lives, but at the same time letting them express themselves and to be able to grieve," McChesney said.

Anyone with information is asked to call San Bernardino detectives at 909-384-5655 or 909-384-5613.
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