Police say that “upwards of 14 people” have been killed by 3 masked gunmen at a center to help those with disabilities in southern California. The shooting happened at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, on the morning of December 2. The building is located at 1363 South Waterman avenue in the town and helps people with developmental disabilities. In addition to those who were killed, 17 other people were wounded in the attack.
President Obama has been briefed on the incident as has California Governor Jerry Brown. The president told CBS News “We have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world.”
Here’s what we know so far:
1. Two Suspects Are Dead After Police Engaged in a Shootout on a Residential Street Close to the Inland Regional Center
Officers in San Bernardino pursued a black Ford Expedition on a residential street close to the Inland Regional Center and engaged in a shootout. TV footage from the scene showed one body lying lifeless close to the SUV while a small army of police closed in. CBS Los Angeles reports that “one suspect” is down. It has not been confirmed that this shooting is related to the Inland Regional Center shooting. Another person, believed to female, was said to be injured in the SUV, according to ABC Los Angeles’ reporter Marc Brown. One officer received a non-life threatening injury during this shooting. Sgt. Vicki Cervantes told the media that there is a possibility of an “outstanding suspect.” Sgt. Cervantes did not say if any suspects were dead. In a tweet, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan referred to the wounded people as “suspects” and said they were “down.”
Fox Los Angeles reporter Gigi Graciette tweeted that police “believe” the men in the SUV are the suspects.
Fox Los Angeles’ Araksya Karapetyan tweeted that police were looking for 1-3 shooters. This report was later confirmed by the San Bernardino Police Department.
Fox Los Angeles reports that the suspects were wearing “military gear” and armed with “rifles.” No weapons have been recovered by officers with police speculating that the trio could have used AK-47s. CBS reporter Peter Daut tweeted that witnesses said the gunmen were “wearing all black with masks on.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that witnesses saw the suspects flee the building in an SUV. Nobody has been taken into custody as a result of the shooting and no official description has been released. The assistant director of the FBI has said that “they do not know” if today’s shooting was terror related. The San Bernardino Police Chief said “They came prepared to do what they did as if they were on a mission.”
Another San Bernardino cop told NBC Los Angeles “No. 1 priority is human life, then we’ll worry about the criminal aspects.”
2. So Far, Authorities Estimate That 14 People Have Been Killed
ABC Los Angeles reports that 14 people have been killed. The wounded are being treated at Loma Linda University Medical Center.
The San Bernardino Sun’s Micah Escamilla tweeted that she overheard the San Bernardino Sheriff saying “all we can tell you is it’s pretty bad.”
Get the full story on the shooting in Spanish here:
3. An FBI Source Says the Shooting Was Sparked by an Argument at a Holiday Party
The Los Angeles Times quotes a federal government source saying that the fight was sparked by an argument at a holiday party. The Times says one of the gunmen left the party and returned with other shooters.
Fox Los Angeles reports that one of the suspects walked into a conference room and began opening fire. According to the Inland Regional Center’s website, which has gone down, the center was hosting a “holiday boutique” on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The shooting was first reported at about 11 a.m. One employee, Mark Stutte, told KTLA’s Tara Wallis that the gunfire broke out at the party. An employee of the building, Brandon Hunt, told CNN that none of the victims were IRC employees, the target appears to have been a banquet that was being attended by county personnel. One employee told her husband that as she left the facility, she had to climb over bodies.
4. Police Found a Suspicious Device Inside the Building
Officers from multiple agencies who have assembled at the facility are pushing back after a suspicious device was found inside on the second floor. San Bernardino reporter Beatriz Valenzuela tweeted that the device was detonated by police.
ABC Los Angeles reports that among the law enforcement agencies on scene are the FBI and the ATF. Due to this, ambulances were unable to come close enough to the victims to pick them up, reports NBC Los Angeles’ Gadi Schwartz. He adds that people were using pickup trucks to move the wounded away from the scene.
NBC Los Angeles’ Kim Baldonado tweeted that the San Bernardino SWAT team happened to be on a training exercise close to where the shooting took place.
Roads around the center have been closed with those inside being told to shelter-in-place. While the Inland Regional Center itself is being evacuated by local police. Family members are advised to go to Rudy Hernandez Community Center at 222 N. Lugo Ave. to meet their loved ones.
5. There Is a Planned Parenthood Located Less Than 2 Miles from the Building
According to the Inland Regional Center’s Facebook page, the facility serves “individuals with developmental disabilities in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.” There are 670 people who work at the location, serving over 30,200 people per year. The company’s website says that the Inland Regional Center is a “nonprofit, private community-based agency that is proud to help obtain services and support for our constituents.”
According to Google Maps, there is a Planned Parenthood located less than two miles from the building.
Meanwhile in response to the shooting Hillary Clinton tweeted “I refuse to accept this as normal. We must take action to stop gun violence now.” While Donald Trump said “California shooting looks very bad. Good luck to law enforcement and God bless. This is when our police are so appreciated!”