Police have identified two of the people suspected of a mass shooting in San Bernardino, who were later killed in a shootout with police.
They are a 28-year-old American born man named Syed Farook, and a 27-year-old woman named Tashfeen Malik. Her background is still unclear.
San Bernardino police chief Jarron Burguan says it’s unclear what the pair’s relationship was.
“We are going back and forth between information that they were married, or that they were engaged, but there was a relationship. I don’t have a definitive as to exactly what that is.”
Burguan says Farook was a county employee, and was seen at holiday staff party at the Inland Regional Centre where the shooting later took place. Burguan says he was apparently involved in some kind of dispute and left upset.
He says the investigation led officers to a home in Redlands, where a chase ensued between police and a black SUV. That chase ended in a gunfight where the two suspects were killed. One officer was also wounded, but is in stable condition.
Burguan says Farook and Malik were both armed with assault rifles and handguns when they were killed by police.
A third suspect was detained in the investigation, but police wouldn’t comment on their relationship to the attack.
At a press conference organized by region’s Muslim community, Farook’s family expressed anguish at the attack.
Farook’s brother in-law Farhan Khan said he’d seen him about two weeks before, and couldn’t believe what had happened.
“I cannot express how sad I am for what happened today. I’m very sad that people lost their lives and there’s victims out there, I wish speedy recovery to them. I am in shock that something like this could happen.”
“I have no idea why would he do that, why would he do something like this.”
Domestic terrorism or disgruntled employee?
The motive behind the shooting remains unclear.
The attack unfolded around 11 am this morning, when up to three people entered the Inland Regional Centre near Lost Angeles and opened fire.
At least 14 people were killed, and seventeen injured in the attack
“They came in with a purpose. They came in with an intent to do something.”
Cheif Burguan says the shooters had long guns and “came prepared,” dressed and equipped in military-style gear.
“At very least, we have a domestic terrorism situation. Not making assumptions.”
Courts and local county buildings were closed San Bernardino County area, and schools, community centres and other centres put on high alert.
Social services centre for people with disabilities the target
The shooting took place at the Inland Regional Center, hub providing services for people with developmental disabilities.
Jack Cronin with KOGO News in San Diego tells CKNW that the shooting occurred in an area of the centre that had been rented to an outside group for a meeting.
“It is a government building. It is a very larger campus. This was in the conference centre which had been rented out, to a group of people. They haven’t said who that group is. It could be county employees, government employees. But the killings seem to be concentrated from that conference room.”
San Bernardino is about 100 kilometres east of Los Angeles.
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This is a breaking news situation.Check back for updates.