Police have identified two people killed during a shootout in San Bernardino as suspects in an attack that left at least 14 people dead at a center for the developmentally disabled in Wednesday. At a news conference Wednesday night, officials said Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik targeted a holiday party at the center. It's not clear what the motive may have been, though police are not ruling out that it was intended as a terrorist attack.
This story is no longer being updated. See here for the latest information.
- Update 10:22 p.m. Suspects ID'd as Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik
- Update 9:04 p.m. Council on American-Islamic Relations holds press conference with suspect's brother-in-law
- Update 8:14 p.m. FBI executes search warrant with bomb squad; suspects used fake pipe bomb
- Update 6:51 p.m. Police serve search warrant in Redlands in connection with shooting
- Update 6:01 p.m. 2 suspects dead; 1 in custody as officers work to clear home in Redlands
- Update 5:30 p.m. Loma Linda Hospital bomb threat ruled not credible; 5 patients taken to Loma Linda
- Update 4:40 p.m. 1 suspect potentially still at large
- Update 4:09 p.m.: All schools lifted from lockdown
- Update 4:00 p.m.: Dominguez Elementary School still on lockdown
- Update 3:21 p.m.: Live video: Shootout underway
- Update 2:50 p.m.: Video from inside shooting location: 'I'll take a bullet before you do'
- Update 2:38 p.m.: President Obama calls for gun control in response to shooting
- Update 2:13 p.m. At least 14 people dead, 14 people injured
- Update 1:45 p.m.: Press conference underway
- Update 1:40 p.m.: Police confirm multiple fatalities
- Update 1:20 p.m.: Shooting still active, people abandoning vehicles
- Update 12:59 p.m.: Employee describes shooting location
- Update 12:51 p.m.: At least 25 mass shootings in California this year
- Update 12:30 p.m.: Federal government agency responds, SWAT teams on scene
- Update 12:10 p.m.: Witnesses say incident started at Inland Regional Center
- Update 11:35 a.m.: Initial reports of an active shooter reported in San Bernardino
The two suspects shot and killed by police were named Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said at a press conference late Wednesday night. Farook is a U.S. born citizen. Authorities are not sure where Malik is from.
Burguan went on to say that police have information that Farook and Malik were in a relationship, and that they were either dating, engaged or married.
Officials are not sure what motivated the couple, Burguan said, but terrorism has not been ruled out.
Police now believe there were only two shooters and that they were the two people shot and killed, Burguan added. Earlier reports said there may have been three or more involved in the shooting. They also updated the number of injured in the attack to 17. Earlier reports had put that number at 14.
Farook was employed as an environmental specialist with the county for the past five years, Burguan said. He's believed to be the man who left what was described as either a holiday party or a meeting for county public health department employees Wednesday morning held at the Inland Regional Center, before he is thought to have returned with Malik in assault gear and opened fire, leaving 14 dead. Berguan said he initially left the party under circumstances described as angry.
Burguan said the attack appears to have been at least somewhat planned and was not spur-of-the-moment based on an argument at the holiday party that took place earlier in the day.
A former colleague of Farook's, Griselda Reisinger, told the L.A. Times that Farook worked as a food inspector and that he was "very quiet."
Reisinger said she remembered Farook attending last year's holiday party, which was held in the same conference room as Wednesday's shooting. Reisinger left the department in May and said that many people had left over the past year due to problems with management.
Farook's father, also named Syed Farook, spoke with the New York Daily News and said he was shocked to hear about his estranged son's possible involvement. He said he was estranged from his son.
"He was very religious. He would go to work, come back, go to pray, come back. He’s Muslim," the father said.
He added that his son worked as a health technician inspecting restaurants and hotels. His father and Reisinger both said that he was married and had a child.
Maria Gutierrez, a longtime neighbor of Farook's in Riverside, told the Daily News that Farook started to become more religious two years ago.
"He grew a beard and started to wear religious clothing," Gutierrez said. "He and his brother were always working in the garage on cars. Until like 11 p.m. at night. I think his mom was a nurse and his older brother was in the military."
Gutierrez also expressed shock that Farook was a suspect in Wednesday's mass shooting.
— KPCC staff
The Council on American-Islamic Relations held a press conference Wednesday evening with the brother-in-law of a San Bernardino shooting suspect, condemning the attacks while asking for Muslims not to be implicated in the attack.
"I just cannot express how sad I am for what happened today. I mean, my condolences to the people who lost their life," said the suspect's brother-in-law, Farhan Khan.
Khan said he was speaking on behalf of the family. He said that he wished the victims a speedy recovery and that he was in shock. He said that he last spoke with the suspect a week ago.
Hussam Ayloush, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations for the Greater Los Angeles area, said he unequivocally condemned the attacks. After Khan declined to speak further, Ayloush stepped in and said Khan isn't informed enough about the investigation to know possible motives and wanted to respect the investigation.
— KPCC staff
Law enforcement officers were executing a search warrant at a Redlands home Wednesday connected with the San Bernardino shooting, calling for people to come to the front door, the Associated Press reported.
One of the officers called out "This is the FBI," according to the AP. Officers were outside the home in riot gear with a bomb squad unit and armored vehicles, and they appeared to have robot devices.
It was unclear if anyone was inside, according to the AP.
ATF spokeswoman Meredith Davis told KCAL9 that the two suspects shot and killed by police each had a long gun and a handgun.
More from AP:
They were wearing tactical-style clothing that was "loaded with magazines for a gunfight," she said Wednesday.
Davis said the suspects also threw a thick-gauge copper pipe out of the SUV, but no explosives were found inside.
The fake pipe bomb was equipped with a piece of material made to look like a wick.
Authorities are tracing the serial numbers on the guns and authorities will be dispatched to those addresses.
— KPCC & AP
Police were serving a search warrant Wednesday evening in Redlands in connection with the San Bernardino shooting, the Redlands Police Department's Carl Baker told KPCC. The search warrant was being executed on the 50 block of North Center Street, beginning at 4 p.m.
Redlands Police were assisting San Bernardino Police at the scene, Baker said. Various agencies are involved. There were no further details available.
It was a Redlands cop who initially tried to pull over the suspect vehicle earlier in the day as well. The vehicle failed to stop, which led to the chase that eventually ended in San Bernardino and resulted in officers shooting and killing a male and female suspect.
— KPCC staff
Officers shot and killed two suspects during a shoot-out in San Bernardino on Wednesday afternoon, according to police. The suspects were identified as a man and a woman. Their ages and relationship remains unknown. Their motive was also unknown, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said at a press conference Wednesday night.
The two suspects who were killed were carrying assault rifles and handguns and were dressed in what Burguan described as "assault-style" clothing. Authorities were taking a cautious approach to their vehicle in case there were explosives there, he added.
Authorities are still investigating whether a third suspect now in custody was involved with the shooting, or whether more people had been involved the planning of the attack, Burguan said.
People in the area had reported hearing someone jumping fences, but it was unknown if that was the movement of officers or a suspect in the area. The area was eventually cleared and deemed safe, Burguan said.
One officer was also wounded in the shoot-out, Burguan said; the officer received non-life-threatening injuries and was at a local hospital. The officer was expected to be recover.
Tips led officers to a residence in Redlands, Burguan said. Officers were setting up when a vehicle suspected of being involved left, which led to a pursuit that ended in San Bernardino on San Bernardino Avenue between Mountain View and Richardson.
The FBI's David Bowdich said that the agency is investigating whether terrorism was the motive, but that he's "still not willing to say that we know that for sure."
FBI officers were investigating a house in Redlands, Bowdich said, but they were being cautious in case there were explosives at the house. He said there was no indication at the time that there were explosive devices there, but that they were being cautious in order to preserve agents' safety.
The shooting took place at a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center, Burguan said. At least one person left the party after a dispute. It's not yet clear if the shooting was related to the that incident, Burguan said.
Authorities were still working on clearing the Inland Regional Center and were expected to be there into the evening, Burguan said. The building was being searched by the bomb squad for suspicious devices. Authorities were taking a slow, cautious approach, Burguan said.
"We want to extend our true sadness to the families of the victims," Bowdich said. "This is truly a tragedy in our country."
— KPCC staff
There was a bomb threat at the hospital Wednesday afternoon, Loma Linda spokesperson Briana Pastorino said at a 5 p.m. press conference, but it was later deemed not credible.
There were five adult patients brought to the hospital from the San Bernardino shooting, Pastorino said, but she would not comment on the nature of the injuries. Two patients were in critical condition, two were fair and one was still being assessed, Pastorino said.
"I don't know any individual who couldn't be shaken up by this," Pastorino said. "We're all shaken by this. We're all bothered by this. I think we should all go home to our loved ones and understand this could happen any time and we have to be prepared for it."
A station was set up at Loma Linda for families of the victims, Pastorino said.
— KPCC staff
San Bernardino police Sgt. Vicki Cervantes said there is still possibly a suspect "outstanding," the Associated Press reported. Police said that one suspect was shot and that an officer was injured in the shootout and went to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The number of wounded is now 17 and the deceased remains 14, reports San Bernardino County Sheriff.
California Gov. Jerry Brown issued a statement on Wednesday's shooting in San Bernardino.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims' families and everyone affected by the brutal attack. California will spare no effort in bringing these killers to justice."
His office also announced that Wednesday evening's Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony was being canceled out of respect for those affected by the shooting, and that capitol flags would be lowered to half-staff.
Board member Sheela Stark from the Inland Regional Center, where the shooting took place, said she has been trying to reach more than a dozen colleagues and workers but has only heard back from one, according to the AP.
She said that the center has two large buildings that require a badge to get in, but that a conference room where public events take place, including a banquet Wednesday, is usually left open when visitors are expected, the AP reported.
Peter Santalla, a caretake in the Inland Empire who has visited the Inland Regional Center every month for the past 10 years or so, told KPCC that the rest of the complex was highly secure and didn't understand how the gunmen were able to enter.
“First of all, you can’t sneak up to the front entrance. It is a pretty long walkup to get to it… You’re confronted immediately with a gigantic story-tall plexiglass enclosure. And that’s where the receptionists sit," Santalla said. "And there’s two doors that require either the receptionist to buzz you in or you having some kind of security keycard to get past. There’s no other way past that area without either a keycard or getting buzzed in. And then beyond that there are other levels of security.”
Keycards are required to move throughout the building, said Sentalla. He explained that in the past he’s seen security guards outside the building.
The IRC provides essential services for caretakers like Santalla, he said. “They meet with social workers, they meet with doctors, they meet with psychiatrists, nurses, parents that are looking for placement, stuff like that. They’re really our go-to for just about everything.”
Regional centers across Southern California are taking additional safety precautions. They are not closed, but they have increased security measures, though Nancy Lundgren with the State Department of Developmental Services would not say what kinds of new security have been implemented.
Clients who have appointments or planned to go into a Southern California center should call first.
Fairview Development Center in Costa Mesa — a residential facility for those with developmental disabilities like autism, cerebral palsy and down syndrome — is on a precautionary lockdown. Only staff is allowed in or out. About 200 people live there.
Update 4:09 p.m.: All schools lifted from lockdown
As of 4:09 p.m., Dominguez Elementary was released from lockdown and all students were dismissed.
During the extended lockdown kids were asked to play boardgames and watch videos and served snacks. They kept kids on the floor during activities at the request of law enforcement who wanted everyone to stay low.
The only school to stay after its normal dismissal time was Dominguez Elementary. Staff there extended lockdown procedures until 4 p.m. due to its proximity to police activity.
Maria Garcia with the San Bernardino City Unified School District says police gave teachers instructions on keeping the schools 420 students safe.
"The authorities asked us to keep all of the students down, low to the ground. So we did have the students playing boardgames on the ground, sitting on the floor to watch videos and our staff did a wonderful job keeping everybody calm."
Schools will open tomorrow at the usual time, say Garcia.
Schools in San Bernardino City Unified School District were placed on lockdown Wednesday.
All schools are scheduled to dismiss students at the normal time, except for Dominguez Elementary School. Dominguez Elementary School will remain on lockdown and not dismiss students until further notice due to its proximity to police activity.
Director of communications with the district, Linda Bardere, says councilors are already preparing a list of talking points for teachers in case students return tomorrow traumatized.
"We are working with our teachers union on refining these tips in case students are experiencing what is known as a loss of safety – meaning they are feeling like their community is not safe. So we are anticipating that our students might experience a loss of safety," she said.
San Bernardino City Unified says it ran a active shooter drill two summers ago and regularly practices lockdown procedures.
"We are working with our teachers union on refining these tips in case students are experiencing what is known as a loss of safety – meaning they are feeling like their community is not safe. So we are anticipating that our students might experience a loss of safety," said Bardere.
Update 3:21 p.m.: Live coverage of shootout underway
A shootout is underway with several suspects at San Bernardino Avenue and Shedden Drive, south of the San Bernardino International Airport. Sheriff's officials say police have shot a suspect in a black SUV, and it appears that suspect is down. It's not clear if this incident is related to the earlier attack.
Residents living near the intersection are taking shelter away from their windows.
Rosemary Vega, who lives near where a standoff between police and suspects took place in San Bernardino, said that the street outside where she lived was covered with police.
"Well I heard a lot of banging. I thought somebody was banging on my front door until I realized it was shooting that was going on. And there was shooting all over the property here, and the neighbors, all over the place," Vega said.
Police asked them to get down, Vega said.
"We're in one of the back bedrooms lying down on the floor. My son went towards the front of the house, and police told him to come back further back into the house," Vega said.
She said they'd been watching the news and staying inside, as police had told local residents to do.
We've put together a map of the sites associated with today’s shooting in San Bernardino, including the reunion center and hospitals:
KPCC will continue to update the map as events develop.
The Inland Regional Center is one of 21 similar centers across the state that provide services to individual with developmental disabilities and their families.The centers are governed by the State Department of Developmental Services and were created in 1969.
The Inland Empire Center is the main center for the region which is why it is such a large campus. it reportedly has about 670 employees and serves more than 30,000 developmentally disabled individuals and their families in San Bernardino and Riverside. These are busy places, with state and county workers as well as vendors that include therapists and other support providers.
The centers provide a wide range of services including placing individuals in homes who need 24-hour care to providing specific therapies to clients to hosting holiday parties for families with a developmentally disabled child. For example, the Inland center’s Facebook page says they were planning to have a Winter Party on Friday and yesterday they had Santa Clause in for kids who need 24-hour care.
Services are available to any family that has a child who has been diagnosed with a developmental disability or a baby or toddler who may be at risk. Once a child is a client of the regional center, the care is intended to last a lifetime. Costs are based on a sliding scale.
Update 2:38 p.m.: President Obama calls for gun control in response to shooting
President Barack Obama spoke with CBS News about the San Bernardino shooting.
"We have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world, and there are some steps we could take — not to eliminate every one of these mass shootings, but to improve the odds that they don't happen as frequently. Common sense gun safety laws, stronger background checks," Obama said.
He also said that he believes that it needs to be made illegal for those on the no-fly list to buy a firearm.
"And so my hope is, is that we're able to contain this particular shooting. And we don't yet know what the motives of the shooters are, but what we do know is is that there are steps we can take to make Americans safer, and that we should come together in a bipartisan basis at every level of government to make these rare, as opposed to normal. We should never think that this is something that just happens in the ordinary course of events, because it doesn't happen with the same frequency in other countries."
San Bernardino Police confirmed that at least 14 people are dead and 14 people have been injured in the mass shooting in San Bernardino Wednesday.
Police say there were up to three suspects who may have left the area in a dark-colored SUV. They are still at large.
San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said the suspects were dressed and equipped in a way that indicated they were prepared. The suspects were armed with long guns, not handguns, he said.
"They came prepared to do what they did as if they were on a mission," he said.
The department is unclear on whether or not this was a terrorist attack.
"At this point, I know one of your questions is going to be 'is this a terrorist incident?' I will tell you right we do not know if this is a terrorist incident," said Dave Bowdich, assistant director in charge of FBI's Los Angeles Office.
Authorities are asking that anyone with information about the incident call We-Tip at 1800-78-Crime.
Update 1:45 p.m.: Mother of survivor speaks as she waits to be reunited
In this video excerpt captured by KPCC photographer Maya Sugarman, Olivia Navarro speaks to the media. Her daughter was inside the Inland Regional Center, serving as a case manager for workers for those who provide services to special needs children:
Navarro said she's heard from her daughter and that she's okay.
Update 1:40 p.m.: Police confirm multiple fatalities
San Bernardino police Sgt. Vicki Cervantes confirmed to KCBS that "there are multiple casualties and there are some confirmed fatalities," the Associated Press reported, but she said she didn't have specific numbers. She said it appeared there was more than one shooter, that police were searching for more than one gunman and that she believed they were wearing "military-style" attire.
Loma Linda University Medical Center spokeswoman Briana Pastorina said that four patients were received at its trauma center, according to the AP. She said she didn't know their conditions and that the hospital expected to get three more patients.
Gov. Jerry Brown's press office said on Twitter that the governor has been briefed.
Paul Lacroix said his son was able to escape after gunfire erupted at a Southern California social services center.
Lacroix told reporters Wednesday that his son texted him and told him alarms started going off and they got word there was shooting. He said his son was sheltered with a group of people before they managed to get out.
Lacroix said his son and colleagues were ordered to exit with their arms up and nothing in their hands.
Update 1:20 p.m.: Shooting still active, people abandoning vehicles
Lt. Rich Lawhead with the San Bernardino Police Department appearing on NBC4 has asked the public to avoid the active shooting scene.
"People have abandoned their vehicles to check on their loved ones," Lawhead told NBC4. "Let law enforcement do their jobs... I know you want to be there but you're blocking the roadway. You're creating safety hazard for yourself."
According to NBC4, the hospital at the Loma Linda University Medical Center has received a number of the victims and is setting up tents outside to accommodate those arriving.
San Bernardino Police Department's Vicky Cervantes, who's on the scene, told NBC4 that people looking to reunite with family members can go to the Rudy C. Hernandez Community Center.
Update 12:59 p.m.: Employee describes shooting location
The Inland Regional Center's president and CEO Marybeth Feild said that the focus is on a building with at least 25 employees, a library and a conference center, the Associated Press reported.
"The incident is in the conference area," Feild said, according to the AP. An outside group was renting the area Wednesday, Feild said. She said she was not at the center but that people being served by the center would have been at the building.
Ana Fuentes, a manager at a Shell gas station about a block from the site of the shooting, told the AP that there was a flood of police activity in the area.
"There's maybe like 150 cops going toward Hospitality Lane," Fuentes said, according to the AP. She said that she hadn't received any instructions to stay inside.
Peter Santalla is a caretake in the Inland Empire and has visited the Inland Regional Center every month for the past ten years. He said the building is secure.
“First of all, you can’t sneak up to the front entrance. It is a pretty long walkup to get to it… You’re confronted immediately with a gigantic story tall plexiglass enclosure. And that’s where the receptionists sit… and there’s two doors that require either the receptionist to buzz you in or you having some kind of security keycard to get past. There’s no other way past that area without either a keycard or getting buzzed in. And then beyond that there are other levels of security.”
Keycards are required to move throughout the building said Sentalla. He explained that in the past he’s seen security guards outside the building.
Update 12:51 p.m.: At least 25 mass shootings in California this year
This year there have been more than 350 mass shootings in the United States in which at least four people have been shot, according to theMass Shooting Tracker project. At least 25 mass shootings have taken place in California in 2015, including one at a San Bernardino nightclub in March in which two people were killed.
Update: 12:30 p.m.: Federal government agency responds, SWAT teams on scene
Local agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are responding to the scene of the San Bernardino shooting.
The FBI says it is investigating the ongoing situation in San Bernardino. In a statement, the bureau said:
The FBI is responding to the reported shooting incident in San Bernardino with resources to assist our partners. No further information is currently available. San Bernardino law enforcement officials have the lead on this incident at this time. I will provide any additional information possible as this situation develops.
The Associated Press reports President Obama has been briefed on the shooting by the homeland security advisor, Lisa Monaco.
Lt. Rich Lawhead at San Bernardino Police Department told NBC4 that SWAT teams from other jurisdictions are helping secure the scene during the active shooting.
"We are not only using our SWAT team, but SWAT teams from other jurisdictions in an effort to clear the facility and make sure everything is safe," he said. "Obviously, we are trying to treat the people as quickly as we can and determine if there is still an active emergency or an active shooter in any way, shape or form in or around the area."
He went on to say that the department does train for these situations and that the department's highest priority is the victims.
“The idea is to get in quickly, secure the scene as quickly as possible while still preserving evidence and everything else. Our highest priority is to deal with the victims and make sure they get the medical attention as quickly as possible, so we want to make sure there's not an injured victim hiding someplace who may think that it’s not safe to come out. We need to check every nook and cranny to make sure everybody is safe before we call the all clear."
"They locked themselves in her office. They seen bodies on the floor," Aguilera told ABC7. He said that his wife saw ambulances taking people out on stretchers and that his wife was able to escape the building unharmed.
ABC7 reported that Terry Pettit said he received a text message from his daughter saying the gunman was in her building and that both she and some of her coworkers were hiding. She said that between 10 and 20 people had been shot.
"People shot. In the office waiting for cops. Pray for us. I am locked in an office," Pettit said his daughter wrote, according to the AP.
According to their website, the center "helps people with developmental disabilities in Riverside and San Bernardino counties," providing around-the-clock care for adults and children who require treatment.
San Bernardino Fire Department is responding to a multiple victim shooting Wednesday, according to its Twitter account. It's being reported that 20 victims are involved.
An active shooter is confirmed in the area of Orange Show Road and Waterman Avenue, reports the San Bernardino County Sheriff. The agency tweeted that there are between 1 and 3 suspects. It also shared a map and warned residents to avoid the area.
The incident was initially reported in the 1300 block of S. Waterman Avenue, according to the San Bernardino Fire Department.
This story has been updated.
Correction: An earlier version of this post erroneously reported witness Gabi Flores' job title at the Inland Regional Center and misspelled the name of Los Angeles Field Office Assistant Director David Bowdich. KPCC regrets the errors.