At Least 14 Killed in ‘Domestic Terrorism’ Shooting in California
At least three gunmen who committed what law enforcement calls "domestic terrorism" in California are on the run.
At least 14 people were killed and another 17 injured Wednesday as up to three attackers shot their way through a facility for disabled people in San Bernardino, Calif., said city Police Chief Jarrod Burguan.
The shooting began around 11:00 a.m. local time, Burguan said. By the time law enforcement arrived at the Inland Regional Services, the assailants were believed to have escaped in what Burguan described as a dark sports utility vehicle.
On Wednesday evening, law enforcement officials said two of the suspects are dead; one is a man, and the other is a woman. They have been identified as Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, a former county health worker born in the United States, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, a woman described as his Pakistani-born wife.
The motive behind the attack is still not clear, but Burguan called it an act of “domestic terrorism.” He said the men carried long guns but did not provide any details. He also said the shooters were “dressed and equipped in way to indicate they were prepared.”
“They came prepared to do what they did, as if they were on a mission,” he said. “They came in with a purpose.”
San Bernardino Sheriff John McMahon said government and county buildings are locked down, and extra safety precautions have been taken as nearby schools. The FBI and the ATF are also on the scene.
Details on the incident remain sketchy. Earlier Wednesday, San Bernardino Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Vicki Cervantes described as many as three heavily-armed shooters who may have been wearing body armor.
Ambulance crews could be seen on local California TV news broadcasts treating wounded people.
The shootings come just days after abortion opponent Robert Lewis Dear allegedly killed three people at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado last Friday. It also follows the Nov. 13 terror attacks in Paris that killed 130. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Paris rampage, but Burguan said there is no evidence so far that foreign-motivated extremist groups are involved in the onslaught in San Bernardino.
Speaking to CBS News, President Barack Obama beseeched Americans to do more to prevent the kind of mass shootings that have become all too common over the last decade. Wednesday’s attack appears to be the deadliest mass shooting since 2012, when Adam Peter Lanza killed 26 at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Lanza also killed his mother before fatally shooting himself.
“We have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world,” the president said. “And there’s 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.”
This story has been updated repeatedly to reflect breaking news.
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