At least 14 people are dead after a shooting in San Bernardino, California — about 60 miles east of Los Angeles.
San Bernardino police chief Jarrod Burguan told reporters that at least 14 people are dead and 17 more were injured in the shooting, which police responded to at about 11 a.m. local time, according to emergency officials.
“They came prepared to do what they did as if they were on a mission. They came in with a purpose,” Burguan added, noting that the shooters were armed with long guns rather than hand guns. “They came in with the intent to do something.”
Hours after the massacre, law enforcement officials said they received a tip related to the shooting that led police to a home in the city of Redlands, just south of San Bernardino. As police were setting up to watch that home, a dark-coloured SUV was seen leaving the residence, according to San Bernardino Police Chief Jarron Burguan.
The suspects’ vehicle had been described as a dark-coloured SUV.
A police chase began and ended in a shootout involving San Bernardino Police. A dark-coloured Ford Expedition could be seen in the street, windows shattered less than two miles from the scene of the mass shooting.
Two suspects — one male and one female — were killed in that shootout with police, according to investigators. A third person who ran away from that scene has been detained, according to David Bowdich with the FBI Los Angeles bureau. It wasn’t clear whether that person was involved.
Both of the dead suspects were armed with “assault-style weapons” and handguns, law enforcement officials report.
One police officer who was shot and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The SUV could be seen on local TV news footage stopped in the street with the windows broken, and one long gun on the ground.
Windshield on black SUV riddled with bullet holes after police shootout in San Bernardino pic.twitter.com/CXLoZQsFLx
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) December 2, 2015
The Press Enterprise reported that a bomb threat was called in to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where medical personnel were treating the wounded Wednesday afternoon. Investigators later determined that threat was not credible.
Fire-department officials reported up to 20 victims and as many as three shooters. A spokesperson for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said they were investigating a possible pipe bomb recovered from a suspect.
Police officials said at a news conference that hundreds of people were in the building at the time of the shooting at Inland Regional Center, which provides services to the disabled, and were not injured.
Most of the victims, Burguan said, “were centrally located in one area of the facility.”
“They [Inland Regional Center] had an event today, and during that event is when multiple shooters came in and just started shooting,” Sgt. Vicki Cervantes, a San Bernardino Police Department spokeswoman, told ABC 7.
The event was a county-personnel banquet, Inland Regional’s executive director, Lavinia Johnson, told CNN.
The center has 670 employees, according to its Facebook page. San Bernardino is roughly 60 miles east of Los Angeles. Here is a map of the area:
Police reportedly entered the center and evacuated the building room by room, according to CNN. SWAT officers and officials from the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are also reportedly on the scene.
People who are in areas nearby, including a golf course, are reportedly on lockdown, according to the Los Angeles Times.
A spokeswoman for the Loma Linda University Medical Center said it received five adult patients. Two were in critical, but stable condition, one was in fair condition, and another was being assessed.
Marcos Aguilera, whose wife was reportedly in the building when the shooting started, told ABC 7 that his wife saw emergency officials taking people out of the building on stretchers.
“They locked themselves in her office,” he said. “They seen bodies on the floor.”
The LA Times interviewed an unnamed man whose relative works at the Inland Regional Center.
“It was a pretty horrifying phone call to get from a family member that is hiding in an office because there is an active shooting taking place,” the man said. “This is wrong. Why would they target an agency that deals with helping handicapped people?”
A bomb squad was on the scene following unconfirmed reports of a possible explosive device in the area.
In a statement, California Governor Jerry Brown said, “California will spare no effort in bringing these killers to justice.”
US President Barack Obama was briefed on the shooting by Homeland Security Adviser Lisa Monaco, later telling CBS that “We should never think that this is something that just happens.”
Here are some photos from the scene:
This post will be updated as more information comes in.
Erin Fuchs contributed to this report.
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