Crime & Justice

Obama's meeting with families of San Bernardino attack victims greeted with mixed feelings

"(POTUS) will be surprised to see San Bernardino coming together," said local minister TJ O' Donnell. "There's hope."
Erika Aguilar
President Barack Obama is opening his Christmas vacation on a somber note, by meeting with families of the 14 people who were killed in the San Bernardino shooting.
Erika Aguilar
President Barack Obama is opening his Christmas vacation on a somber note, by meeting with families of the 14 people who were killed in the San Bernardino shooting.
Erika Aguilar
President Barack Obama is opening his Christmas vacation on a somber note, by meeting with families of the 14 people who were killed in the San Bernardino shooting.
Erika Aguilar
President Barack Obama is opening his Christmas vacation on a somber note, by meeting with families of the 14 people who were killed in the San Bernardino shooting.
Erika Aguilar


President Barack Obama will begin his Christmas holiday on a somber note, by meeting with families of the 14 people who were killed in the San Bernardino shooting. His visit will come shortly after California's governor issued an emergency proclamation for San Bernardino County to help the community as it recovers from the attack.

"Obviously, those families are going through a difficult time, not just because they've lost loved ones, but obviously at the holiday season, I think that loss is even more acute," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told the Associated Press. "The president felt before he could begin his holiday that it was important for him to spend some time with these Americans who are mourning."

Obama's wife, Michelle, will join him for the meetings, the AP reports. In San Bernardino, feelings were mixed ahead of the pending presidential visit. 

San Bernardino County Supervisor Curt Hagman, who attended funeral services for shooting victim Robert Adams earlier in the day, told KPCC he was disappointed by the touch-and-go nature of the president's visit.

"I think that two weeks into the incident, [a] one-hour visit, I think, frankly is a little bit short," he said. 

Hagman had hoped Obama would meet with law enforcement and others who were in the Inland Regional Center on Dec. 2. "We have many survivors who have been injured in the incident as well as many of the people who were there and they are all shaken up," he said. 

But Nancy Reyes, a San Bernardino County employee, said she was happy the president was coming. “Maybe he has a lot of things to do and maybe this is just the time. It has to be safe. Probably it is now a safe time for him to come,” she said.

President Barack Obama is opening his Christmas vacation on a somber note, by meeting with families of the 14 people who were killed in the San Bernardino shooting. The smell of flowers, candles and Christmas trees filled to streets of San Bernardino Friday, December 13.
President Barack Obama is opening his Christmas vacation on a somber note, by meeting with families of the 14 people who were killed in the San Bernardino shooting. The smell of flowers, candles and Christmas trees filled to streets of San Bernardino Friday, December 13.
Erika Aguilar

Just over two weeks ago, a husband and wife walked into a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center and started shooting. Authorities identified the shooters as American-born Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 29, of Pakistan. Both were killed in a shootout with police.

Most of the 14 people killed at the Dec. 2 holiday banquet worked with Farook in the San Bernardino County public health department. Nine men and five women, ranging in age from 26 to 60, were killed.

Obama is flying to California after holding an end-of-year news conference at the White House. After meeting with families, he will continue on to Hawaii to begin two weeks of vacation with his wife and daughters in the island state where he was born, the AP reports.

The president is scheduled to return to the White House in early January to begin his final year in office.

Scroll down to see KPCC's timeline of events surrounding the San Bernardino shooting.

This story will be updated.