The devastating shooting at an elementary school in San Bernardino has instilled devastated emotions not only in the country, but also the young children who witnessed the frightening event. For 9-year-old Marissa Perez, Monday morning was another typical morning until Cedric Anderson, 53, walked into her special education classroom with a gun.
Marissa witnessed her teacher at North Park Elementary School get shot and killed, as well as two other students get hit in the crossfire.
Marissa was able to escape the classroom, and when her mother, Elisabeth Barajaz, picked her up at Cajon High School, she tearfully explained what she saw.
"The [man] just walked in with the gun. He just shot everywhere. I went under the table and then I saw a teacher run out. So I just ran out. My friend and my teacher, they got shot,” Marissa said of the scene.
While Marissa told the Los Angeles Times of her traumatic account, her mother held onto her gray sweater, covered in blood spatter.
Barajaz claimed that the school district was too elusive with the violent act that her daughter witnessed. According to Barajaz, she had no idea Marissa witnessed the murder until she ran up to her and cried: "Mommy, I still have blood on my sweater."
"I don't know how we're going to get through this," Barajaz told the LA Times. “They could have at least said, ‘Your daughter was in that classroom.’”
Barajaz added that the teacher, Karen Elaine Smith, “was very kind. She would always tell me how Marissa was doing."
Barajaz plans on getting appropriate counseling for her daughter.