At least 14 dead in mass shooting

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Fourteen people were killed and 17 injured after gunmen attacked an urban center in San Bernardino, Calif., on Wednesday.

San Bernardino police chief Jarrod Burguan said two shooting suspects — identified as Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, his wife — were killed in an officer-involved shooting. It occurred after a tip brought police to a residence, and officers followed the suspects when they fled in a vehicle.

{mosads}The suspects were armed with assault rifles and handguns, Burguan said, as well as “some sensitive stuff around the vehicle,” seemingly in reference to potential explosives.

A third person was detained after being seen running from the scene. Burgeon said it’s not clear whether the third person is involved. 

Co-workers said that Farook, who worked for the county, recently traveled to Saudi Arabia and returned with a new wife, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Patrick Baccari, a fellow health inspector, told the newspaper that Farook and his wife had a baby and appeared to be “living the American dream.”

Colleagues also told the Times that Farook was a devout Muslim, but seldom talked about his religion.

The Times said an official was heard on law enforcement radio saying Farook “was at the meeting” where the shooting took place, but left “out of the blue.”

The official also reportedly said Farook “was acting nervous” before leaving the building shortly before the shooting.

Burguan declined to speculate on a motive, but he confirmed that somebody did leave the site of the shooting after a “dispute” earlier today. 

“We have no idea if that is the same person that came back,” he said.

David Bowdich of the FBI said it’s possible the attack was terrorism, but he would not say for sure.

“This is a marathon, not a sprint. I am still not willing to say that we know that for sure,” he said. “It is a possibility, but we don’t know that yet. … We’re not willing to go down that road yet.”

Bowditch said any relation between the dead suspects is unknown.

He stressed that the investigation is fluid. “We are still gathering facts,” he said.

Authorities say they suspect domestic terrorism.

“At the minimum we have a domestic terrorism-type situation that occurred here,” Burguan said earlier Wednesday. “They came prepared to do what they did and they were on a mission.”

Burguan said witnesses described three gunmen opening fire inside the Inland Regional Center with long-arm weapons. Some suggested the suspects were wearing masks and tactical gear, he said, before ruling out camouflage. 

Briana Pastorino of the Loma Linda University Medical Center told reporters that the hospital received five adult patients from the shooting.

Of them, two are in critical but stable condition, two are in fair condition, and one is still being assessed.

Pastorino said there was a bomb threat at the hospital, but it was determined not to be credible.

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that the Inland Regional Center serves those with developmental disabilities in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. It has nearly 670 employees, it said, and has served more than 30,200 people from the area for at least 40 years.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’s Los Angeles division reportedly responded to the scene, as did FBI agents.

Images surfacing on social media and on local television affiliates showed a large law enforcement presence in the area as potential witnesses with their hands raised were guided from the area.
Speaking after the incident occurred but before casualties were known, President Obama renewed his calls for stricter gun control, saying the law “needs to be changed” to get American gun violence down in line with that of other nations.
“We have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world,” Obama said.
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) canceled Sacramento’s Capitol Christmas tree lighting Wednesday evening and said flags around the state would fly at half-staff.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families and everyone affected by the brutal attack,” Brown said in a statement. “California will spare no effort in bringing these killers to justice.”
Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), who represents the San Bernardino area, said he was returning to the district and his prayers were with those affected.
“My heart aches that the out-of-control gun violence epidemic has come to our community,” Aguilar said in a statement. 
The incident comes days after a mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood center in Colorado Springs, Colo., that left three and several more wounded. That shooting had prompted advocates and Democratic lawmakers to call for banning gun sales to those on the “no fly” list.
— Jordan Fabian contributed to this developing story, which was last updated on Dec. 3 at 7:38 a.m.
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