San Bernardino Shooting: Police Identify Suspects, Seek Motive – Update

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8TH UPDATE, 11 PM: Police identified the people killed in the gun battle with police as Syed Rizwan Farook, a 28-year-old American citizen, and 27-year-old Tashfeen Malik. San Bernardino police Chief Jarrod Burguan said at a late-night news conference that police are “reasonably confident” that Farook and Malik, who may have been married or engaged, were the same two people who opened fire at the Inland Regional Center on Wednesday morning, killing 14 and wounding 17. Authorities said a motive for the mass shooting is still unclear.

7TH UPDATE, 5:46 PM: Police said at a news conference that two suspects in the San Bernardino San Bernardino shootingshooting — one male, one female — are dead. San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said that a third possible suspect is in custody. The two dead suspects were killed in a shootout after their SUV was spotted leaving a residence in nearby Redlands that police had been watching on a tip. Burguan said the dead suspects, who have not been identified, were armed with assault rifles and handguns. The possible third suspect was seen running away and taken into custody, but police do not know if that person was involved. A search of the surrounding neighborhood has been called off. Burguan said authorities have no motive for the shooting at the Inland Regional Center, in which 14 people were killed and 17 wounded.

Burguan confirmed a report that someone left the holiday party at the conference center after an argument of some kind but said he didn’t know if that person was involved in the ensuing shooting.

David Bowdich, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, said, “This is truly a tragedy in our country.” He was still not willing to say “for sure” that the shooting was an act of terrorism but added, “we are definitely making some movements that it is a possibility. We are making some adjustments to our investigation. It is a possibility, but we don’t know that yet.”

6TH UPDATE, 5:24 PM: A spokeswoman for Loma Linda University Medical Center, where multiple victims of today’s shooting were transported, said the facility had a bomb scare today. “About 2:30 this afternoon, the hospital was put on a code yellow alert in response to a bomb threat,” PIO Briana Pastorino said at a news conference. In response, protocols were put in place and classes at the school were canceled. She added that the hospital received five patients; two are in critical but stable condition, two are in fair condition, and one is being assessed.

5TH UPDATE, 4:23 PM: WNBC New York ended its coverage of the breaking news event at 7 PM ET to stick with the planned local coverage of its annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center. The segue to the star-studded event was awkward because it’s being hosted by NBC News reporters, who were noticeably uncomfortable. Meanwhile, NBC’s Lester Holt remained on the air live in other markets and will anchoring continuous live coverage through 10:30 PM ET.

San Bernardino shooting4TH UPDATE, 4:20 PM: Police now are converging about a mile away from the scene of the SUV standoff, and reports are that they are after a possible third suspect. Authorities confirmed that one officer sustained non-life-threatening injuries when he was grazed by a bullet.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department just tweeted this:

3RD UPDATE, 3:53 PM: Police have used special heavy equipment to extract a person from the back seat of the SUV in a residential neighborhood near the San Bernardino International Airport. The person was limp, but it’s unclear whether that suspect is alive or dead.
Lester Holt has assured viewers on NBC that their coverage is on a slight delay just in case.

San Bernardino shooting2ND UPDATE, 3:41 PM: All of the broadcast networks are live at the scene as police have surrounded a bullet-riddled dark SUV after a pursuit in San Bernardino. A pair of Bearcat vehicles are parked at either end of the SUV, and reports are that one suspect remains inside. Another possible suspect appears to be lying dead in the street nearby with a rifle at his feet. There is no official word if these suspects are connected to the shooting at the  Inland Regional Center, in which 14 people were killed.

Meanwhile, San Bernardino police have revised the number of wounded in today’s shooting to 17.

UPDATED, 2:02 PM: San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said at a news conference that “upward of 14 people are dead,” 14 others suffered “significant injuries” and multiple suspects remain at large in the shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. “The suspects have fled, potentially in a dark-colored SUV,” he said. “We do not have any identification on who these particular suspects are; we do not know what the motive is for the shooting at this point.” Burguan said the suspects were armed with long guns. “They came prepared to do what they did — as if they were on a mission.” No weapons have been recovered.

Said David Bowdich of the FBI’s Los Angeles office: “I know one of your questions is going to be, ‘Is this a terrorist incident?’ I will tell right now, we do not know.” All schools, county courts, city and county buildings in San Bernardino are on lockdown.

Burguan said there will be news updates “every hour on the hour.”

PREVIOUSLY: All of the broadcast and cable news networks including Univision have cut into their programming to cover a mass shooting in San Bernardino, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles. Police have confirmed at least three fatalities and many others wounded at the Inland Regional Center, which offers social services to thousands of people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Inland Regional Center cropSgt. Vicki Cervantes of the San Bernardino Police Department says there was an event taking place in a conference room inside the facility. “Multiple people entered the room and began shooting,” she told CBS2 on air. “There is one report that these shooters have left in a black SUV, but I don’t know that that has been confirmed.” She said that there were at least two shooters in “military-style” clothing.

Keith Nelson, a member of the facility’s board of trustees, told CNN that the conference area was being used for “a holiday event” by County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health. Nelson said there were no known threats to that organization before the shooting.

About 670 people work at the facility, according to its Facebook page. Marybeth Feild, President of the Inland Regional Center Board of Trustees, says an outside group was renting that room Wednesday and that the focus is on that building, which houses at least 25 staffers, a library and conference center. Police radio chatter says the southern building at the facility has been cleared. Police also surrounded a mall near the shooting scene and were evacuating it amid reports of an armed man inside. They were entering Waterman Discount Mall at 1:23 PM.

Police are not allowing people to leave the scene and are interviewing everyone there. SBFD says there are 20 victims but did not elaborate. Twitter is filled with grim photos from the scene, where emergency workers were tending to victims as the siege apparently continued.

A bomb squad is on the scene to investigate a possible explosive device. At least seven victims have been transported to Loma Linda University Medical Center and an unspecified number at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.

Many people have been evacuated to the adjacent San Bernardino Golf Club. Police say there were still some people playing golf there as of 12:30 PM.

The first call came in at 10:59 PT, and all of the broadcast networks had cut into programming by 11:45. Gov. Jerry Brown is monitoring the news, and President Obama has been briefed. CBS’ Norah O’Donnell was about to hold a previously scheduled interview with Obama about climate change but will now include talk of the shooting.

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