San Bernardino killer Cedric Anderson was 'deeply religious' pastor

Cedric Anderson, who shot and killed his estranged wife Karen Smith and an eight-year-old pupil at the San Bernardino school where she worked, was a pastor who often posted about his Christian faith on Facebook.

A woman at a makeshift memorial created near the North Park Elementary School following a classroom shooting on Monday in San Bernardino, California, US.Reuters

Anderson, 53 and a navy veteran, turned the gun on himself after killing his wife and Jonathan Martinez, 8. He also shot a nine-year-old student who is expected to recover. He had signed in at the school's office and opened fire in the classroom without saying anything, witnesses said.

Anderson had a history of domestic violence and gun arrests and according to Karen Smith's mother 'came out with a different personality' when she decided to leave him.

He appeared as a 'guest pastor' on a local radio show and wrote on Facebook about leading Bible study groups. He wrote of his wife: 'Her strength is not in worldly wisdom, head games and manipulation. Her strength is in the essence of her purity,' he said. 'Her anchor is that she sees God. It is a joy to have a conversation with her. I praise God for such a wonderful Lady!'

According to the LA TImes, a neighbour reported the couple were overheard praying together. It also quotes Najee Ali, a community activist in Los Angeles and executive director of Project Islamic Hope, who said he knew Anderson as a pastor who attended community meetings.

'He was a deeply religious man,' Ali said. 'There was never any signs of this kind of violence ... on his Facebook he even criticized a man for attacking a woman.'