Police are trying to determine what prompted two suspects to open fire on a holiday gathering at a center for the developmentally disabled in San Bernardino Wednesday. At an evening press conference police said Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, were behind the attack that left 14 people dead and 21 injured. On Thursday, witnesses spoke out about the circumstances surrounding the attack and the gun battle that followed.
- 6:12 p.m. Officer who was first on the scene tells his story
- 4:59 p.m. Vigil to include local political leaders; Brown delays traveling to climate conference
- 3:56 p.m. Names of deceased released
- 3:18 p.m.: Heated exchange on Islam took place before rampage
- 3:08 p.m. FBI says assailants may have used Al Qaeda bomb manual
- 1:00 p.m.: What we know about shooters Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik
- 11:45 a.m.: Family member of survivor speaks out
- 10:30 p.m.: More than 30 thousand K-1 visas issued in 2014
- 10:00 a.m.: Number of injured jumps; 12 pipe bombs found at home
- 9:10 a.m.: Boyfriend of shooting victim comments
- 8:45 a.m.: Two victims in critical condition at Loma Linda
- 8:15 a.m.: President Obama says it's possible shooting was terrorism-related
- 7:40 a.m.: Justice Department offers help in shooting probe
- 6:35 a.m.: Couple dropped off infant daughter; brother-in-law had 'no idea why he would do this'
- 6:25 a.m.: Co-worker describes scene inside center
- 6:00 a.m.: 4 guns used in attack were purchased legally, feds say
- 5:40 a.m.: Police search home in connection to shooting
- 5:00 a.m.: Police seeking motive
San Bernardino Police Officer Mike Madden spoke with reporters at a press conference Thursday. He's a 24-year veteran and worked as an administrative commander — essentially a desk job, Burguan said. He was on his way to lunch at about 11 in the morning Wednesday when the call went out for the shooting at the Inland Regional Center, and Madden was less than a mile away when he heard it, Madden said.
He normally oversees dispatchers, and he said he could tell by the tone of their voice when he heard this call that it was a serious situation with an active shooter in their city.
Madden was one of the first officers on scene, arriving at almost the same time as another officer, he said.
"It's something that you're never actually prepared for," Madden said. "We had every belief at that time that we had people still actively being shot inside the building."
They assembled a team of four officers before going in, Madden said. He said that the mindset of stopping an active shooter and preventing other innocent people from injured or killed was drilled into officers with training following the Columbine shooting, Madden said.
After arriving, Madden said that he saw several victims dead outside the conference room and that, once entering, the situation was "surreal."
"We talk about sensory overload. They try to just throw everything at you to prepare you for dealing with that," Madden said. "It was all of that and more. It was unspeakable, the carnage that we were seeing."
Madden said that they got as many people out as they could as quickly as possible.
Madden said that recent criticism of police definitely gets to them. He said that some cops go astray, but that most cops are trying to do their job to protect the public.
There were 91 invited guests for the party, and about 75 to 80 people present in the room when the shooting occurred, Burguan said. There was a sign-in list, but it was unclear if everybody signed in.
Of 21 people injured but still alive, 18 were identified as county employees, Burguan said. Of the 14 dead, 12 were county employees.
The event where the shooting took place began with training for health department employees in the morning before transitioning to a holiday party/luncheon in the afternoon, Burguan said. The shooting happened about when the transition was happening. The room was decorated for a Christmas party, Madden said.
— KPCC staff
Several vigils were set for Thursday night following the San Bernardino shootings, including one sponsored by the city, the county and the site of the shootings, the Inland Regional Center.
California Gov. Jerry Brown delayed his trip to the international climate conference in Paris to visit San Bernardino on Thursday, according to the Associated Press.. Brown's office said that law enforcement officials were scheduled to brief him Thursday afternoon on the investigation into the attack. Brown had been scheduled to attend at least 21 events over a six-day period at the U.N. conference on climate change, and the delay means he'll miss at least one. His spokesperson said that Brown was likely to arrive at the conference Saturday, but that a final decision had not yet been made.
The San Bernardino County Coroner released the names of 14 victims that were killed in the mass shooting Wednesday.
The victims range in age from 26 to 60, according to a press release from the San Bernardino County Sheriff.
A friend of a man who was killed during Wednesday's attack said she witnessed a fight between him and one of the attackers over religion. Kuuleme Stephens told the Associated Press she overheard Farook and coworker Nicholas Thalasinos arguing over Islam when she called two weeks before the attack.
AP cautioned that it's not yet clear if the argument had anything to do with the attack. You can read more of the AP's report here.
Jennifer Thalasinos, Thalasinos' wife, confirmed to KPCC that he was killed in Wednesday's attack.
In an earlier interview with the The New York Times, she said that her husband had mentioned Farook but never said anything negative.
Responding to a question from KPCC, a lead FBI investigator on the San Bernardino shooting said agents were looking into whether the 12 pipe bombs discovered in a Redlands home were based on designs from Al Qaeda’s "Inspire" magazine.
"We knew that question would come up," said Los Angeles Field Office Assistant Director David Bowdich. "We’re looking into it as we speak."
In its first issue published more than five years ago, the English-language magazine featured an article titled “How To Make A Bomb In The Kitchen Of Your Mom.” That same article was cited as the blueprint for the improvised bombs used by Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
It's still not clear what prompted Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik to mount an attack on the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, but more information from friends, family and coworkers helped flesh out a better understanding of the two suspected killers. Syed Rizwan
Farook worked for the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health as a restaurant inspector, according to public records reviewed by the Associated Press and had been a county employee for five years. His California state license to be an environmental specialist was set to expire at the end of the month, according to Public Health Department records last updated Nov. 16.
Tashfeen Malik was 27 years old. One of Farook's co-workers told the AP that Farook had traveled to Saudi Arabia for about a month and returned with a wife, but investigators say they can't confirm that. The fiancee visa requires that the couple intends on getting married within 90 days of the fiancee entering the U.S.
A family member says a woman who survived the rampage at a Southern California social service center managed to text her family after she was shot.
Nick Paez says his mother, Julie, was shot at least twice, and that a bullet shattered her pelvis.
He says she was able to send her family a message through a group chat app to say she'd been shot, and included a selfie that showed just her face.
He says the family "didn't know if she was alive or dead" after receiving the photo.
Suspect Tashfeen Malik, 27, was admitted to the U.S. in July 2014 on a K-1 fiancee visa with a Pakistan passport. Syed Farook petitioned to adjust her status to Legal Permanent Resident in September 2014, based on their marriage. It is unclear when they married.
Malik obtained her conditional green card in July 2015.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are still trying to drill down if she is Pakistani or from Qatar.
The K-1 fiancee visa gives couples 90 days to get married once the person enters the US. The state department says 35,925 K-1 visas were issued in 2014.
—KPCC's Leslie Bernstein-Rojas
Update at 10 a.m.: Number of injured jumps; 12 pipe bombs found at home
The number of victims injured during the San Bernardino shooting Wednesday has jumped from 17 to 21. The number of fatalities remains at 14.
During a press conference Thursday morning, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said police found 12 pipe bomb devices and over 3,000 more rounds of ammunition at a home being searched in connection with the mass shooting, as well as hundreds of tools that could be used to make improvised explosive devices.
The suspects fired between 65 and 75 rifles rounds at the facility when they entered on east side directly into event room, said Burguan.
The suspects fled the scene and later fired 76 rifle rounds at officers during a shootout along San Bernardino Avenue between Mountain View Avenue and Richardson Street, the chief said. He added that 23 officers fired at suspects with approximately 380 rounds, while the suspects had more than 1,600 additional bullets.
Police confirmed that the male suspect, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, was at a "Christmas holiday-type gathering" at Inland Regional Center before leaving and returning with his wife, 27-year-old Tashfeen Malik. Both were wearing black tactical gear, including vests to hold equipment, police said.
Police also found an explosive device at the center that was three pipe bombs combined with a remote control that appears to not have worked, he said.
"There appears to be a degree of planning that went into this," said Burguan.
The suspects — Farook and Malik — came to U.S. in July 2014, according to police. He was a U.S. citizen; she was here on a K-1 visa.
Authorities say a motive is unclear. Police confirmed Farook was at the holiday party. There have been reports that he left angry.
San Bernardino County Sheriff said the coroner will begin to release victim names and photos Thursday.
— KPCC staff and AP
Ryan Reyes, the boyfriend of shooting victim Daniel Kaufman, said it was an emotional rollercoaster when he first heard about the shootings at the Inland Regional Center — the building where Kaufman works.
“Knowing that he had been shot and was in the hospital and knowing that he's there all by himself because nobody knew that he was in the hospital that's just been kind of devastating to me,” said Reyes.
Kerry Heinrich, chief executive officer of the Loma Linda University Medical Center, spoke in a press conference Thursday morning. He said that of the five patients at the level one trauma center, two were in critical condition and three were in fair condition.
Despite the bomb threat Wednesday, the hospital remained open because law enforcement did not advice a lockdown, said Heinrich.
"Earlier this year we had eight shootings not more than a half a mile away from this institution," said Heinrich. "Our staff have trained. They've prepared. But there's nothing you can do really to prepare for an event like yesterday with the emotional trauma that comes along with that."
— KPCC staff
President Barack Obama says it's possible the mass shooting in California was related to terrorism, but that authorities still don't know. He says it's possible it was workplace-related or that there were mixed motives.
Speaking from the Oval Office, Obama assured Americans that authorities will get to the bottom of what happened. Obama is also calling for people to wait for facts before making judgments.
Obama says many Americans feel there's nothing they can do about mass violence. But he says, "We all have a part to play."
Obama says the nation must make it harder to carry out violence. But he's acknowledging the threat can't be eliminated completely. He says it will be important for all Americans, including state legislators, to see what they can do.
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the Justice Department will be offering "any and all assistance necessary" as the investigation into the California mass shooting continues.
Lynch is speaking at an event about criminal justice at the White House. She says the shooting in California was "unspeakable."
Lynch says the government doesn't know a lot yet about the incident. But she says the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service and other federal authorities have been dispatched.
Update 6:35 a.m.: Couple dropped off infant daughter; brother-in-law had "no idea why he would do this"
The couple dropped off their 6-month-old daughter with relatives Wednesday morning, saying they had a doctor's appointment, Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said after talking with family.
Farhan Khan, who is married to Farook's sister, told reporters he last spoke to his brother-in-law about a week ago. He condemned the violence, and had "absolutely no idea why he would do this."
"I am very sad that people lost their life and that there are victims out there. I wish a speedy recovery to them and again, I am in shock that something like this could happen," Khan said.
— AP & KPCC
Update 6:25 a.m.: Co-worker describes scene inside center
Co-worker Patrick Baccari said he was sitting at the same table as Farook, who suddenly disappeared, leaving his coat on his chair. Baccari said when the shooting started, he sought refuge in a bathroom and suffered minor wounds from shrapnel slicing through the wall.
Baccari described Farook as reserved and said he showed no signs of unusual behavior. Earlier this year he traveled to Saudi Arabia and returned with a wife, later growing a beard, Baccari said.
Update 6:00 a.m.: 4 guns used in attack were purchased legally, feds say
Federal authorities say that the two assault rifles and two handguns used in the San Bernardino massacre were all purchased legally in the United States — two of them by someone who's now under investigation.
Meredith Davis of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives says investigators are now working to make a connection to the last legal purchaser.
She says all four guns were bought four years ago but she's not saying whether they were purchased out of state or how and when they got into the hands of the two shooters.
Davis says California requires paperwork when guns change hands privately but many other states don't.
She also says the rifles involved were .223-caliber — powerful enough to pierce the standard protective vest worn by police officers, and some types of ammo can even plow through walls.
Update 5:40 a.m.: Police search home in connection to shooting
Police and federal agents are for a second day searching a home in connection to the massacre in San Bernardino.
A search team combed the residence early Thursday in neighboring Redlands, about 7 miles from the shooting at Inland Regional Center.
A black sedan parked outside was also searched.
The home is where officers initially saw a vehicle matching the description of the suspects' SUV in the hours before the final gun battle that killed them. A bomb squad on Wednesday swept the building with robots.
Police didn't immediately say if the suspects — Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik — lived at the home. Public records show it is a possible residence of a family member of Farook.
Update 5 a.m.: Police continue to search for motive
Police are trying to determine what prompted two suspects to open fire on a holiday gathering at a center for the developmentally disabled in San Bernardino.
Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, are believed to be behind the attack that left 14 people dead and 17 injured Wednesday, police said.
Authorities are working to identify the victims and the circumstances of the attack.
"It's my understanding that most of the people, most of the victims, were all centrally-located in one area of the facility," San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said at a press conference Wednesday night. He said the facility employs state and county employees, and those who work for private organizations and focuses on treating people with developmental issues.
San Bernardino County spokesman David Wert said the county public health department was holding a holiday event at Inland Resource Center, but had no further details.
The two suspects — a male and female who officers described as either a married couple or lovers — were killed in a shootout with police after officers encountered the pair while following up on tips related to the shooting, Burguan said.
Police monitoring a house in Redlands saw a black SUV leave that matched the description of a vehicle at the crime scene. A pursuit led authorities back to San Bernardino and into a gun battle along San Bernardino Avenue between Mountain View Avenue and Richardson Street where the two were shot dead.
See a map of the sites associated with Wednesday's shooting in San Bernardino.
One police officer was later wounded during the shootout with Farook and Malik. Burguan said the officer's injuries were not serious.
Farook and Malik were dressed in "assault-style clothing" or tactical gear, and were found armed with two .223 caliber assault-style rifles and two semi-automatic handguns, Burguan said. One of the assault rifles was a DPMA A-15. The other was a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 model, he added.
"It really looks like two shooters," Burguan said, clarifying earlier reports that three individuals may have been involved in the shooting at the Inland Regional Center.
Farook, a U.S. citizen born in 1987, had worked for San Bernardino County for about five years as an environmental specialist for the county's public health department. He had been at the party Wednesday, but left the gathering under "angry circumstances," the chief said.
"We don't have the motive at this point and I'm being really being careful here. Until we know the motive ... I don't want to weigh in on that," Burguan said.
Burguan went on to say authorities haven't ruled out terrorism.
"I think that based on what we have seen ... there had to be some degree of planning that went into this," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Correction: An earlier version of this post misspelled the name of Los Angeles Field Office Assistant Director David Bowdich. KPCC regrets the error.