LOS ANGELES (CBS NEWS) -- The 8-year-old student killed by a gunman in a classroom at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino on Monday endured a great deal in his short life, CBS Los Angeles reports.

Jonathan Martinez was born with a rare genetic condition called Williams syndrome, had heart surgeries and lived with developmental delays. 

While grieving for their only son, the boy’s parents asked school officials to tell the world about the condition that landed their child in the special-needs classroom, where he was killed. 

San Bernardino Unified City School District Superintendent Dale Marsden said that the family wants -- in the boy’s memory -- the nation to be aware and conscious of what Williams syndrome is.

“Unlike disorders that can make connecting with your child difficult, children with Williams syndrome tend to be social, friendly and endearing,” Marsden said. 

Williams syndrome is a genetic condition characterized by a series of medical problems, including heart disease, developmental delays, learning disabilities, kidney issues and hypertension. 

MORE: Read the full report at CBSNEWS.com