Several armed gunmen attacked a facility for people with developmental disabilities on Wednesday and killed 14 people, while 17 were left wounded in San Bernardino, California, according to San Bernardino Police Department.
San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said at least three gunmen started shooting around 11 a.m. at the Inland Regional Center, while there was an ongoing lunch meeting for state and county employees. The shooters, who were heavily armed with long guns, seemed “prepared to do what they did as if on a mission.”
The perpetrators escaped but a vehicle believed to be used as their getaway car was found by police. Two of the shooters were killed in the shootout that ensued, while a third suspect reportedly escaped.
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) December 3, 2015
Based on initial investigations, the California shooting lasted for a few minutes before the gunmen ran away from the crime scene. Authorities have not yet determined a motive for the shooting and are not linking the tragedy to terrorism. Burguan elaborated,
“We have no information at this point to indicate that this is terrorist-related in the traditional sense that people may be thinking. Obviously at minimum we have a domestic terrorist type situation that occurred here.”
SB police chief addresses media regarding latest California shooting
Investigators are now searching for evidence that could possibly give clues about the identities of the suspects of the horrendous California shooting. A suspected pipe bomb was recovered by an ATF Explosives Enforcement Officer, but it was unclear where the explosive device was found and whether the shooters brought them to the center.
Five victims were taken to Loma Linda University Medical Clinic, two of whom were reportedly in critical but stable condition. The other two were fair while one person was still being assessed, a spokesperson for the hospital said. Six other victims in the California shooting are receiving medical attention at Arrowhead Medical Center, but no information regarding their health status has been released.
Meanwhile, families of the survivors are sharing their stories in order to shed light on what happened that afternoon. The parents of a survivor said the shooters walked into the Inland Regional Center and opened fire without warning. The victim sustained gunshot wounds and was one of the injured that was taken to the Loma Linda University Medical Center.
A man named Marcos Aguilera told reporters that his wife and several other people locked themselves in her office room. “She texted me, she said that she was inside, there’s a shooter inside shooting… she said I love you and I came over here,” Aguilera said.
Another survivor in the California shooting was able to text his father “Pray for us” while the attack was going on.
President Barrack Obama, who was in Paris for the global climate meeting at the time of the shooting, has already addressed the incident. He was notified of the shooting by his Homeland Security Adviser Lisa Monaco.
“The one thing we do know is that we have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in world,” Obama, who has delivered remarks 15 times following mass shootings in the U.S., said in an interview with CBS.
President Obama on California shooting: improve gun safety laws
Obama also said there were “steps we can take, not to eliminate every one of these mass shootings, but to improve the odds that they don’t happen as frequently.” He then encouraged everyone to come together to “make these rare as opposed to normal.”
“Obviously our hearts go out to the victims and the families,” Obama continued. “So my hope is, is that we are able to contain this particular shooting, and we don’t yet know what the motives of the shooters are.”
Earlier this week, Obama addressed the recent shooting at the Planned Parenthood Center in Colorado Springs saying he hopes that the incident incites conversation and action.
[Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]