Heartbreaking news out of San Bernardino. Two-and-a-half hours after San Bernardino police received the first call reporting shots fired inside the Inland Regional Center, a social services office in the 1300 block of Waterman Avenue, authorities have confirmed “there are fatalities” in the mass shooting. At a press conference moments ago, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said 14 people were killed. The situation is quickly unfolding. Here’s what we know now:
What follows has been updated throughout to reflect new information
- Around 11 a.m. Wednesday, “multiple suspects” opened fire inside the conference room of the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. Sources tell CNN that a large banquet put on by the San Bernardino County Public Health Department was underway in the auditorium at the time of the attack.
- In addition to the 14 fatalities, 21 people were injured in the attack.
- Police searched for a black SUV that was seen leaving the center’s parking lot following the shooting. Tips led officials to a home in Redlands. Police then pursued a black SUV seen leaving the Redlands home. During the pursuit, police exchanged fire with the suspects inside the car. One police officer was shot and sustained non-life threatening injuries; two suspects were killed.
- Authorities have identified the two suspects killed by police as Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27. Although “one to three” suspects were originally thought to be involved, authorities now believe Farook and Malik were the only attackers. It remains unclear if and how a third person taken into police custody may be involved in the incident. “We are reasonably confident that we have two shooters and we have two dead suspects,” said San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan. Farook, a five-year employee of the county health department, and Malik were discovered in the SUV armed with assault rifles and dressed in assault-style clothing. The married couple reportedly dropped off their six-month-old daughter with Farook’s mother before the attack.
- “We don’t know what the motive was at this point,” said Burguan on Wednesday afternoon.“[The shooters] came in with a purpose.” By Wednesday evening, Federal law enforcement officials were saying a dispute at a holiday gathering may have sparked the shooting. A senior official who is monitoring the case told the Times that investigators believe one of the shooters left the party after getting into an argument and later returned with one or more armed companions. In a statement from the Oval Office Thursday morning, President Obama said the shooting was possibly related to terrorism but may have been workplace related.
- Victims were treated at two area hospitals: Loma Linda University Medical Center and Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in nearby Colton, California.
- CNN reports a suspicious package was discovered on the second floor of one of the complex’s three buildings. Later, three devices believed to be explosives were destroyed by police at the site. On Thursday, authorities recovered a dozen pipe bombs and thousands of rounds of ammunition found at a house affiliated with the suspects.
- According to the Times, around 670 employees work at the Inland Regional Center, which serves people with developmental disabilities in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
- Authorities have asked the public to be on “a high sense of alert” and are asking anyone with information regarding the incident to call We-Tip at 800-78-Crime.