Southland elected officials sent words of condolence today to victims of the shooting at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, with several of them condemning the violence as an incursion on what is supposed to be a safe place of learning.
“School campuses are sacred spaces where children should be free to learn, play and grow without threat of violence,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement released by his office. “Today’s shooting at North Park Elementary in San Bernardino is a reminder that deadly weapons can shatter that sense of security, mercilessly and without warning — leaving parents and educators struggling to address the questions, fears and anxieties that gun violence creates for our young people.”
City Council President Herb Wesson sent condolences via Twitter, writing, “Senseless violence like this is nothing less than a tragedy.”
Two adults — one of them a teacher — died in the shooting, and two children were critically wounded. Police said the shooting was an apparent murder-suicide, with a gunman walking on to the school campus, checking in at the office as a visitor and going to a classroom, where he opened fire at the teacher. The two children also suffered gunshot wounds, police said, but they were not believed to have been targeted by the gunman.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, said he was “heartbroken” by the shooting, noting that it was “even more tragic for (the) community as it comes on (the) heels of terror attack,” referencing the 2015 shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino.
Rep. Norma Torres, D-Ontario, whose district stretches into Los Angeles County, commended the response of law enforcement to the scene, and echoed Garcetti’s comments about the need to keep schools safe.
“Schools are supposed to be safe havens, and tragedies like today’s are becoming far too commonplace in our society,” Torres said. “While we are still gathering the facts, I am determined to do what I can to support those impacted by today’s shooting and take any actions necessary to protect our
community and prevent these senseless acts of violence from ever happening again.”
Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-El Monte, added, “Guns do not belong anywhere near schools, at any grade level, and we must do all we can to ensure our classrooms are safe environments for learning and growth. There are still many unanswered questions from today’s tragedy, but we cannot just talk about how to prevent gun violence, we must act.”
Gov. Jerry Brown said he and his wife “send our thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by today’s tragic shooting.”
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said she was “heartbroken” over the shooting.
Relatives of the two people who carried out the massacre at a San Bernardino health facility never saw any sign the pair had violent tendencies, and were stunned when they learned of their involvement, family attorneys said today.
“None of the family members had any idea that this was going to take place, they were totally shocked,” said Sherman Oaks attorney David Chesley, who represents the two sisters, brother, brother-in-law and mother of Syed Rizwan Farook. “To the point where when they got word that there was an incident that had taken place, they were worried about the health and safety of Syed and (wife) Tashfeen (Malik) because there’s never been any evidence that either of the two alleged shooters were aggressive, had extremist views. They (the family) were totally shocked that this could take place, as shocked as anyone else was.”
Chesley and fellow attorney Mohammad Abuershaid stressed, however, that despite the FBI confirming that the attack is being investigated as an “act of terrorism,” there is no evidence linking the couple to any larger terrorist group or terror cell.
“Just as late as 1 p.m. today, the FBI chief James Comey came out and said that there was no sign that the alleged shooters belonged to a larger organization, a larger organized terrorist group or terrorist cell,” Chesley said. “ … They have come up with some things where they’re trying to say
they were inspired by some groups, but there hasn’t been any clear, smoking-gun evidence that they were part of any particular cell or any group. They (investigators) are pointing to things that they saw on Facebook under different account names in the case of Tashfeen Malik. She supposedly had a Facebook account set up under a different name that they say visited some group that may have been had ties (to radical groups).”
Chesley said that just because she may have looked at something on Facebook, it doesn’t mean she agrees with the views — noting that he has seen posts about Britney Spears but “hates” her music.
The attorneys said they have already met with the FBI, and even the investigators are having a hard time figuring out why the couple might be involved in such a violent act.
“The FBI actually said, `Look, we’re trying to find evidence or information that could cause us to believe that Syed Farook was some way affiliated with this incident, something inspired him to be involved in this incident, but the problem we’re having is we’re not finding any evidence of any
behavior that would show us that this would be the alleged shooter. So why is that happening?’
“We were like, we don’t have any explanation for you other than that there is no evidence,” he said. “None of the family knew of him being extreme or aggressive or having any extreme religious views.”
Abuershaid asked the media not to link the shootings to the fact Farook was a Muslim.
“Just because he had a religion, that he was a Muslim, it had nothing to do with these acts,” he said. “Islam does not agree, does not support any type of actions like this. It does not support killing. It does not support murder of innocent individuals. And the family would never support anything like this. And they’re giving their hearts and their prayers and everything else that they can do to assist the victims who lost their life that day as well.”
Crisis response experts from Los Angeles were at the disposal of San Bernardino County authorities Thursday, as investigators examined whether international terrorism was a factor in a massacre committed by a couple who later died in a gun battle with law enforcement officers.
The shooting Wednesday inside a San Bernardino treatment center for people with developmental disabilities – and the subsequent gun battle – shocked the nation and left similar facilities and law enforcement across the Southland on edge.
President Barack Obama called it part of a pattern of mass shootings with “no parallel anywhere else in the world,” and this morning he ordered that flags be flown at half-staff at all U.S. federal facilities in the United States and abroad and on all U.S. Navy ships.
Federal officials from Los Angeles and elsewhere in the nation worked Thursday to uncover the motive for the attack and determine if there was an international terrorism component or if it should be regarded strictly as workplace violence.
The Los Angeles Police Department, which was already on a heightened state of alert due to the recent Paris terror attacks, did not immediately mobilize following Wednesday;s 11 a.m. shooting in the Inland Regional Center, where 14 people were killed and 21 were wounded.
But the LAPD briefly went on a modified tactical alert in response to the violence. The alert enabled the department to extend officers’ shifts, according to Officer Aareon Jefferson.
Under a full tactical alert, only priority calls would be answered. The modified tactical alert was lifted shortly after 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, when the two suspects in the shooting were confirmed to be dead. Authorities identified them as Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, who were married two years and had a 6-month-old daughter.
Farook was born in the United States of Pakistani parents and was reported to be a five-year employee of the San Bernardino County public health agency, which was holding a holiday party during which the shooting erupted.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Farook had traveled to Saudi Arabia last year and returned with a new wife he met online.
At a news conference this morning, David Bowdich of the FBI said Malik came to the United States with Farook in July 2014 on a work visa and had a Pakistani passport. The couple married after arriving in the U.S.
Bowdich said investigators were working to determine why the couple opened fire on the victims, and he stressed that “the fact-finding process takes time.”
“We do not yet know the motive,” Bowdich said. “There was obviously a mission … we do not know why.”
Bowdich said it would be “irresponsible” to describe the crime as terrorism until more is known.
San Bernardino police Chief Jarrod Burguan, also at the news conference this morning, said it was not known if any of the victims was specifically targeted by the couple.
“They sprayed the room with bullets,” Burguan said. He noted that Farook had been at the party earlier but left, possibly after having some type of dispute.
Burguan said the preliminary investigation determined that the suspects fired 65 to 75 rounds in the room. The couple wore black clothing and combat-style vests, but were not wearing body armor as had been earlier thought.
A candlelight vigil will be held at 6 p.m. at San Manuel Stadium, 280 S. E St., San Bernardino.
Burguan said the community is tight-knit and resilient.
“We will survive this,” Burguan said.
On Wednesday, Farook’s brother-in-law Farhan Khan, who said he is the husband of Farook’s sister, told reporters his entire family is “shocked and very sorry for what happened.”
“We had no idea something (like) this could happen,” Khan said at an Anaheim news conference organized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA).
Apparently fearing an anti-Muslim backlash, CAIR-LA’s Executive Director, Hussam Ayloush, issued a statement on behalf of the group and the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California.
“We condemn this horrific and revolting attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured,” Ayloush said. “The Muslim community stands shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Americans in repudiating any twisted mindset that would claim to justify such sickening acts of violence.”
In a precautionary move, the Harbor Regional Center in Torrance closed for the rest of the day Wednesday following the shootings, as did the North Los Angeles County Regional Center, and the Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center. All of them reopened today.
The city of Los Angeles Emergency Operations Center was activated “out of an abundance of caution” to monitor the situation, but city officials said there were “no known impacts from the shooting in the city.”
“Our police and fire agencies are in contact with their counterparts in San Bernardino and are on standby to assist as needed,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
“In addition, my Mayor’s Office Crisis Response Team, trained in trauma intervention and grief counseling, has offered its support to San Bernardino – with a team of volunteers being made available to assist law enforcement agencies with outreach to affected family members, friends and the community.”
In a news briefing on Wednesday, Burguan said the attack reflected planning.
“Based upon what we have seen and based upon how they were equipped there had to have been some degree of planning to this,” he said. “I don’t think they just ran home, put on these types of tactical clothes, grabbed guns and came back on a spur of the moment thing.”
Police and witnesses said the assailants walked into the holiday party in a conference room and started shooting.
According to Burguan, the investigation led police to a home in Redlands, and as officers approached, Farook and Malik fled in a dark SUV. A pursuit ensued, ending back in San Bernardino, where a gun battle ensued.
Farook and Malik were killed in the prolonged shootout, Burguan said. He said both suspects were armed with assault rifles and handguns.
At this morning’s briefing, Burguan said a San Bernardino police officer suffered a leg wound that was not believed life-threatening, and a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy suffered leg cuts, possibly from shrapnel.
The suspects fired about 75 rounds during the gun battle, and about two dozen law enforcement officers fired about 380 rounds, Burguan said. The suspects had about 1,600 rounds of ammunition on them or in their vehicle, Burguan said.
Agents from the Los Angeles field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were sent to the scene of the morning shooting, along with personnel from the FBI. Agents from Homeland Security Investigations also responded to the shooting.
The Inland Regional Center has nearly 670 staff members and provides services to more than 30,200 people with developmental disabilities and their families in San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
As the shooting investigation unfolded, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department issued a reminder that people can take steps to try to protect themselves in an active-shooter situation. The department has a website and video available with tips at activeshooter.lasd.org.
En una rueda de prensa, autoridades identificaron a los dos sospechosos implicados en el tiroteo de San Bernardino en el que el miércoles murieron catorce personas.
Syed Farook, varón, de 28 años y nacionalidad estadounidense, y Tashfeen Malik, mujer, de 27 años y nacionalidad desconocida fueron los autores de la masacre en San Bernardino.
Ambos fueron muertos por la Policía horas después del tiroteo tras una persecución.
Las autoridades elevaron a 21 el número de heridos y confirmaron que siguen investigando los motivos del ataque, sin que se haya descartado hasta el momento ninguna posibilidad.
El director asistente del FBI en Los Ángeles, David Bowdich, pidió “paciencia” con el desarrollo de las indagaciones, ya que hay múltiples víctimas y muchos escenarios en los que se están recogiendo evidencias, y dijo que es “demasiado pronto” como para especular sobre la causa de la masacre.
No obstante, indicó que, si se observa el armamento con el que contaban los sospechosos, el matrimonio compuesto por Farook y Malik, así como el plan ejecutado, resulta “obvio” que tenían una misión, pero el FBI todavía no sabe el porqué.
El jefe de la Policía de la ciudad, Jarrod Burguan explicó que Farook era un empleado del condado que trabajaba en el edificio donde tuvo lugar la matanza y acudió a la fiesta que allí se celebraba con motivo de la Navidad, pero que abandonó el lugar “enfadado” para regresar después con su pareja y armado para perpetrar el tiroteo.
El sospechoso había trabajado durante cinco años como especialista en medio ambiente para el condado de San Bernardino en el Inland Regional Center, un centro de ayuda para discapacitados donde tuvo lugar el tiroteo.
El jefe de Policía explicó que la investigación les llevó hasta una casa en la localidad de Redlands (anexa a San Bernardino), en la que divisaron un vehículo sospechoso y se inició una persecución que terminó con Farook y Malik (las dos personas que viajaban en el coche) muertos y con un policía herido en la pierna.
Barguan detalló que se cree que los sospechosos dispararon hasta 76 ráfagas de munición de fusil a los policías.
Aunque en un primer momento se habló de la posibilidad de que hubiese un tercer atacante -una persona fue detenida en el lugar del tiroteo-, la investigación se centra ahora en la hipótesis de que Farook y Malik fueron los únicos responsables de la matanza.
Las autoridades indicaron que por el momento desconocen el móvil del crimen, aunque aseguraron que existía planificación y que no se trató de algo espontáneo, por lo que no descartaron motivaciones terroristas.
Los sospechosos irrumpieron en el edificio armados con rifles de asalto de calibre .223 y pistolas, en el Inland Regional Center fueron hallados tres artefactos explosivos.
Los hechos comenzaron a las 11am cuando se dieron los primeros avisos de un tiroteo. Cientos de personas fueron evacuadas del edificio atacado, muchas de ellas saliendo en fila y con las manos en alto, y trasladadas a lugares seguros.
Más adelante, por la tarde, los investigadores localizaron una vivienda en la cercana población de Redlands, de la que salió un vehículo también oscuro y aparentemente vinculado al tiroteo, lo que desembocó en una persecución y un posterior tiroteo entre los sospechosos y la policía en una urbanización.
La Policía encontró doce bombas de fabricación casera en el domicilio de los dos sospechosos.
El suceso de San Bernardino es el tiroteo con más muertos en EE.UU. desde la matanza en 2012 de la escuela Sandy Hook de Newtown (Connecticut), donde murieron asesinados a tiros 20 niños y 6 mujeres.
En este sentido, el presidente de EE.UU., Barack Obama, urgió a acabar con la “pauta” que convierte a los tiroteos masivos en algo que ocurre de forma “normal” en el país, ya que esta situación “no tiene ningún paralelo en ningún sitio del mundo”.
Dos sospechosos del tiroteo en San Bernardino que dejó al menos 14 muertos y 17 heridos el miércoles, resultaron muertos poco después en un enfrentamiento con la policía, informaron autoridades de San Bernardino.
Los autores del tiroteo, que podrían ser “hasta tres”, según el jefe de la policía de San Bernardino, Jarrod Burguan, estaban “preparados” y equipados para cometer una acción así.
Los detalles del tiroteo no están claros en cuanto al ataque en el centro Inland Regional localizado en 1365 S. Waterman Ave. Sin embargo, las autoridades dijeron que los sospechosos estaban armados con pistolas, rifles y chalecos antibalas.
El ataque comenzó alrededor de las 11am, cuando la policía recibió un aviso de tiroteo, con lo que activó el protocolo de respuesta de los servicios de emergencia y seguridad, dijo Burguan.
Según su información, los sospechosos, entraron en el edificio justo en el lugar donde se llevaba a cabo una celebración y abrieron fuego.
Después huyeron de la escena en una camioneta de color oscuro.
Alrededor de las 4pm, y siguiendo pistas, la policía rastreó a los sospechosos en una casa en Redlands y lo que parecía ser el SUV y se inició una persecución que terminó en San Bernardino con un tiroteo.
Dos sospechosos, un hombre y una mujer, murieron acribillados a balazos. Un tercer sospechoso fue detenido y se investiga si estuvo involucrado en el tiroteo.
Un policía resultó herido pero su vida no corre peligro.
La cadena NBC dijo que fuentes identificaron a uno de los posibles sospechosos como Syed Farook y que el otro sospechoso podría ser su hermano. La identidad de la mujer no se sabe aun.
El jefe de la policía afirmó que en el momento del ataque había varios cientos de personas dentro del edificio que no resultaron heridas y que fueron llevadas a un lugar seguro.
Al caer la noche, la policía investigó la casa en Redlands donde fueron rastreados los sospechosos.
Asi mismo, Burguan dijo que continúa el rastreo y la investigación en el centro de discapacitados de San Bernardino, donde se ha hallado lo que “se cree puede ser un dispositivo explosivo”, por lo que indicó que las fuerzas de seguridad seguirán trabajando en este sentido “con cautela”.
Por otro lado, el director asistente del FBI en Los Ángeles, David Bowdich, dijo que se desconoce cuál fue el móvil del tiroteo en San Bernardino y agregó que no se descarta la “posibilidad” de que sea un acto de terrorismos.