Crime & Justice

San Bernardino teacher Karen Smith praised at funeral

A sidewalk memorial dedicated to the teacher and student who were shot to death Monday at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, Calif., is displayed Tuesday, April 11, 2017. Jonathan Martinez, a special needs student of teacher Karen Smith, died when Smith's estranged husband shot both in her classroom. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
A sidewalk memorial dedicated to the teacher and student who were shot to death Monday at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, Calif., is displayed Tuesday, April 11, 2017. Jonathan Martinez, a special needs student of teacher Karen Smith, died when Smith's estranged husband shot both in her classroom. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Reed Saxon/AP

Karen Elaine Smith, the special education teacher gunned down in her San Bernardino classroom two weeks ago, has been laid to rest.

Family, friends and the public packed a Pomona church Saturday to celebrate her life during a nearly four-hour long service in Pomona. Hundreds remembered her devotion to her students, her family and her church.

Her friend, Maggie Bardar, and actress Holly Robinson Peete, who had never met Smith but was moved to speak at the service, discussed the impact of Smith's life and work.

"We talked about our challenges, our successes, everything," Bardar said.

"I'm so struck at the heart, at the compassion that Karen had for the special needs community," Peete said, according to our media partner NBC 4.

Smith, 53, was shot and killed by her estranged husband, Cedric Anderson, two weeks ago at North Park Elementary. Police say Cedric Anderson had been unsuccessfully trying to persuade Smith to get back together after they broke up just weeks into their marriage.

Two students were also shot. 8-year-old Jonathan Martinez died and a 9-year-old was wounded but survived.

Classes at North Park resumed just a week ago.