SAN BERNARDINO—Upwards of 14 people are reported to be dead, with at least another 17 people wounded from a shooting that took place at the San Bernardino Inland Regional Center. According to San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan, the Inland Regional Center “employs several hundred people.” The Association of Regional Center Agencies (ARCA) press release, the Inland Regional Center is part of 21 non-profit regional centers that coordinate services for over 280,000 people with developmental disabilities such as autism, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and other intellectual disabilities.
The incident was initially reported at 10:59 a.m., on Wednesday, December 2, during an recognition ceremony and holiday party being held by the center. Reports indicated that shots were being fired at 1365 S. Waterman Avenue, according to San Bernardino Police Department Lt. Richard Lawhead.
The gunmen entered the main conference room, where the ceremony was taking place, and opened fire. According to Burguan, “most victims were located in one portion of the building.”
According to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, police have enforced a hard closure at Orange Show Road, Waterman Avenue, and Park Center Circle in San Bernardino. “Every school in San Bernardino County is on lockdown for the safety of students and staff,” says Burguan, as the investigation continues for the suspects at large. There are approximately 70 schools in the San Bernardino County.
The FBI, Homeland Security, Border Patrol Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Teams also arrived on scene to assist in the investigation. The San Bernardino SWAT team and bomb squad found a suspicious package on the second floor of the building, and are investigating its contents with a robot.
According to the San Bernardino police, the gunmen were believed to be armed with AK-47 weapons, as witnesses reported seeing “long guns” being carried by suspects.
There are reports of up to three suspects at large, identities and gender of the suspects are unknown. According to Burguan, “preliminary information indicates the suspects were prepared.” The suspects were believed to be wearing masks, bulletproof vests, black attire and camoflauge. The three suspects were seen leaving the scene in a black GMC Yukon SUV, which was found on the 1800 block of South Business Center Drive, two hours after the first calls of the incident.
The seven of the 20 victims have been taken to Loma Linda Medical Center and eight patients were taken to the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. Their condition has not been disclosed by either hospital’s medical staff. According to Burguan, “the victims are unknown at this particular point; whether they were government employees or children.”
At approximately 2:20 p.m., a bomb threat was reported at the Loma Linda Medical Center, which prompted San Bernardino police to call in a K-9 unit and “code yellow” alert.
Medical staff and SBPD have increased security at both hospitals to protect the privacy of the victims and their families. The E.R. is currently on standby for more victims to be admitted. Burguan indicated that there was a “massive law enforcement and mutual aid response in the immediate area” after the shooting took place.
The investigation is ongoing. Police are continuing their pursuits in investigating the motive and suspects at large. As of 2:19 p.m., there has been no identified motive or identification of the suspects.
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon stated “officers are working hand-in-hand, we will work together to investigate this case to work hand-in-hand with the city as we do with all events.”
According to FBI spokesman David Bowdich, the top priority is to assure the wounded are extracted and to ensure public safety.” Bowdich indicated that the FBI does not know if this is a terrorist incident, and assured that “no steps are lost as we investigate the incident.”
As of 2:20 p.m., the Inland Regional Center is still being cleared of its employees and attendees.
Anyone with information may leave anonymous tips by calling the We-Tip hotline at 1-800-782-7463.
UPDATE—As of 3:50 p.m., San Bernardino authorities have cleared the “code yellow” bomb threat reported at Loma Linda Medical Center.
As of 4:10 p.m., at least one suspect has been shot after a police shootout involving several armed individuals in the black SUV, stated San Bernardino police officer Vicki Cervantes.
Cervantes stated “Police discovered the vehicle in Redlands while doing follow-up investigating. At least one suspect has been hit, there is still a suspect outstanding. Police are trying to sort through what they’ve found at the scene.”
Several police units are currently surrounding the perimeter of a house on Richardson and Gould Streets, where the potential third suspect was seen jumping over a fence, and is now believed to be hiding.
Cervantes stated that one officer was shot, and is being hospitalized at Loma Linda Medical Center for non life-threatening injuries.
Police have confirmed the death count stands at 14, with 17 people wounded from the shooting at Inland Regional Center’s annual gathering with government workers in attendance.
UPDATE—As of 4:50 p.m., students are in the process of being released to their parents and legal guardians from the county-wide lockdown.
According to San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan, the car chase ensued on San Bernardino Boulevard, between Gould and Richardson Streets at approximately 3:16 p.m. The shootout resulted in one police officer being shot, as well as one male suspect and one female suspect. Both suspects have been pronounced dead. The suspects were armed with assault rifles, and dressed in “tactical dark clothing,” according to Burguan. The police officer remains in stable condition at the Loma Linda Medical Center.
A suspicious, potential explosive device was discovered in the black SUV “resembling a pipe bomb,” according to County Sheriff John McMahon. Police are ensuring the vehicle is safe enough to proceed with the investigation.
UPDATE—At 10:24 p.m., San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan announced the identities of the two suspects shot in the black SUV are Syed Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 29.
San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan stated Farook and Malik were in a relationship, “either boyfriend, girlfriend; or husband, wife.”
The FBI is still investigating motivation for the mass shooting, and whether this was a coordinated terrorist attack.