SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — It was sheer terror as elementary school kids scrambled for safety and parents waited for word on their whereabouts.
A series of buses helped to reunite the students with their families.
Cell phone video captured the excitement the crowd felt at Cajon High School after parents spotted the first group of kids, who were initially sent to Cal State San Bernardino.
Authorities identified the shooter in Monday’s North Park Elementary shooting as Cedric Anderson, 53, of Riverside. His wife was Karen Elaine Smith, also 53. The two were estranged. Anderson opened fire on Smith with a large-caliber revolver. She died at the scene. Anderson then turned the gun on himself, police said. An 8-year-old boy who was struck later died from his injuries.
“Everyone was really happy people started crying. People started clapping,” Michael Parsons said.
In all, about 530 students, according their grade, were reunited with parents. The kindergarteners were first.
“I’m so happy there are no words to even explain it,” parent Summer Terrell said.
Arianna Mejia’s mom said her daughter was told she was going on a field trip by her teacher to shield her from the horror at school.
“They just told me that I had to go outside with the rest of the class and that it was scary for me and I was about to cry,” 6-year-old Arianna Mejia said.
We also found plenty of tears of gratitude.
Sixth-grader Jeanette Adams says she was able to borrow a friend’s phone to call her mom while she was at Cal State San Bernardino.
“I was so happy that she answered because she was very worried about me,” Adams said.
The number that appeared on her mother’s phone wasn’t one she recognized but it’s a call she’ll never forget.
“A lot of time I don’t answer a number I don’t know, but in this situation I was going to answer any number that called,” Adams’ mother said.