Members of the San Bernardino community have come together to memorialize an 8-year-old boy who was shot and killed along with his teacher at North Park Elementary School. Jonathan Martinez was born with a genetic condition and was killed in a classroom for children with special needs.
Martinez had Williams syndrome, a rare learning disorder which can lead to mild-to-moderate intellectual disabilities and heart problems, according to Dale Marsden, superintendent of the San Bernardino City Unified School District.
"By all accounts, Jonathan Martinez was a happy child," Marsden said at a news conference.
When Cedric Anderson entered the classroom on Monday, he shot and killed his estranged wife Karen Smith and struck two children. He then turned the gun on himself and took his own life. Both children were airlifted to a medical center, yet Martinez died in the hospital as a result of his injuries.
The Martinez family now wants to honor the young boy’s memory by spreading awareness about Williams syndrome.
"Parents often say the joy and perspective the child with this syndrome brings into their lives can be unimaginable," the superintendent said.
Click here to donate to a GoFundMe account set up to help cover expenses for the funeral of Jonathan Martinez.