A heavily armed couple terrorized the San Bernardino city in California on Wednesday killing a minimum of 14 people and injuring 17 people at a social services center. Later, the police went on a manhunt ending the life of the two suspects in a shooting, stated the authorities.
There were chaos, panic, and rumor that gripped all over the working class community that is 60 miles east of Los Angeles as the couple carried out the worst mass shooting in the country since the elementary school assault in Newtown Conn. three years back.
San Bernardino Police Department’s Chief Jarrod Burguan identified the couple Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. Farook was born in the U.S. and his family members state that they were married and had a daughter of six months old. A third person was taken into custody following the shootout, but it is unclear if the person is involved in the attack or not. He said that they are reasonably confident that they have two shooters, and two suspects are dead.
Farook is an environmental inspector who had been employed with the health department of the country for five years. He attended a holiday party on Wednesday for the department at the sprawling facility Inland Regional Center that offers services for thousands of disabled people. After a dispute of some kind, he left angrily, stated the chief. He returned with Ms. Malik by 11 AM, and they were heavily armed.
The Chief Burguan stated that there had to be some level of planning in this. He said that they cannot just run home and wear on the tactical clothes. The motive of the attack is not determined, but they have ruled out the terrorism aspect. The couple was armed with .223 caliber assault rifles as well as semi-automatic handguns.
As they heard shots, the others in the building hid and cowered, and they sent out texts. He stated that most of the victims were in one part of the building. However, to render the scene safe, they had to spend several hours.
The couple left three explosive devices behind, and the officials were starting to process the scene. They could not identify the victims late Wednesday. The suspects fled the scene in a black SUV, and large parts of the city were paralyzed the entire day. The residents were asked to stay indoors, and the government buildings, offices and stores, and some schools were closed or put on shutdown. The yellow school buses were filled with the survivors of the shooting, and they were escorted by police vans to face the anxious relatives at one of the churches in the city.
As per Chief Burguan, a minimum of 20 officers were involved in the gun shooting. The chief stated that a third person fled the scene, and he was taken into police custody. However, his role remains unknown. One of the police officers was wounded in the shootout, but there are no life threatening injuries.
Following the attack, President Obama has called for better background checks and latest restrictions on the access to guns as people might pose a threat to others.