US SHOOTING: Married couple named as slain shooters


  • Slain suspects named as Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. They were married
  • Man and woman killed and officer injured after stand-off
  • 14 are dead and 17 injured after a mass shooting at a Californian disability centre
  • Explosive device found in building
  • Police say shooters were "prepared" and carrying assault rifles


POLICE have identified the slain suspects in today's deadly California shooting rampage as Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27.

They say Farook, who is US-born, was a county employee who had attended a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center and later returned to open fire on people at the celebration.

Farook and Malik were married. The couple are believed to be the only suspects in the attack, police say.

Farook was an environmental specialist with the county health department who sometimes worked at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino.

San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan told reporters that Farook angrily left an office holiday party before returning with Malik.

Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, says the couple left their baby with family Wednesday morning (local time) and never returned.

Relative 'shocked' by California shootings

The brother-in-law of Farook says he was stunned to hear of his relative's involvement in today's shooting.

Farhan Khan, who is married to the sister of Farook, spoke to reporters at the Anaheim office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Khan says he last spoke to Farook about a week ago. He added that he had "absolutely no idea why he would do this. I am shocked myself."

Khan says other family members asked him to speak at the news conference, and to express their sadness over the shootings.

It is the nation's deadliest mass shooting since the Newton, Connecticut, attack in December 2012 that left 26 children and adults dead.

Police shed no light on a motive for the massacre, which came just five days after a gunman opened fire at Planned Parenthood in Colorado, killing three.

"They came prepared to do what they did, as if they were on a mission," San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said, noting the attackers carried long guns - which can mean rifles or shotguns.

Witnesses said several people locked themselves in their offices, desperately waiting to be rescued by police, after gunfire erupted at the Inland Regional Center, which serves people with developmental disabilities.

Some people telephoned their loved ones and whispered to them what was going on.

FBI agents and other law enforcement authorities converged on the center and searched room to room for the attacker or attackers, but it was feared that they had escaped.

Ten of the wounded were hospitalised in critical condition, and three were in serious condition, San Bernardino Fire Chief Tom Hannemann said.

Police cautioned that the numbers of dead and wounded were early estimates that could change.

No weapons were recovered at the centre, though authorities were investigating unidentified items in the building and brought in bomb squads, Burguan said.


TWO suspects thought to be involved in a deadly mass shooting in California -- and chased down in a dark four-wheel-drive -- have both been confirmed dead by authorities.

They were a man and a woman, each armed with assault rifles and handguns.

San Bernardino police chief Jarrod Burguan said the pair were "dressed in assault-style clothing" and police found "sensitive stuff" around the vehicle.

The SUV was left riddled with bullet-holes after they became involved in a shootout with police.

Police are slowly approaching a vehicle they believe contains at least one of the gunmen who attacked a disability centre
Police are slowly approaching a vehicle they believe contains at least one of the gunmen who attacked a disability centre


A third person was spotted by police leaving the area, and has been detained by police. Chief Burguan is yet to idenitfy the third person, and says it is possible they were not involved with the shooting.

Chief Burguan said the neighbourhood where the shootout took place is now secure.

There is a broader investigation going on, he said, in an attempt to find out if there are other shooters or people involved in planning.

The site of the shooting, the Inland Regional Center, is being examined by bomb detection experts after a suspected explosive device was discovered.

"They're taking a very cautious, very slow approach, to render that safe," he said.

FBI regional assistant director David Bowdich said authorities were not prepared to label this a terrorist attack.

"Is this terrorism? I'm not willing to say that we know that for sure," he said.

"We will go where the evidence takes us."

He paid tribute to those who lost their lives, and the families now forced to face such a tragedy.





A senior federal officer has told the LA Times that a dispute at a holiday gathering at the disability centre may have sparked the mass shooting.

The unnamed official who is said to be monitoring the incident, said authorities believed "one of the shooters left the party after getting into an argument and returned with one or two armed companions".

The shooting took place in a large conference room on the grounds of the Inland Regional Center. It ad been privately hired for a group function.



WITH their guns drawn, Californian officers are now going door-to-door as they search for what is thought to be a third suspect involved in a horror shooting that killed 14 at a disability centre.

The area being combed by authorities is in the same neighbourhood as a bullet-pucked four-wheel-drive, where at least one of the suspected gunman has been shot dead.

Another suspect -- thought to be wounded -- may still be in the vehicle, which police are carefully working to secure.

Still from helicopter footage showing police going
Still from helicopter footage showing police going "door-to-door" searching for a potential third suspect involved in a shooting that killed 14 people and injured 17 more.

An officer injured in the shoot-out with the SUV has been taken to hospital. He has gunshot wounds but it is unclear how badly injured he is or how many times he was shot.

A suspect has been seen on the second level of a building. Police are going into the building and hoping to flush him out.

A body now appears to be lying next to the SUV the suspects were travelling in.

Police have confirmed that all those involved with the SUV chase are either dead or in custody.


POLICE are carefully approaching a bullet-riddled four-wheel-drive which is thought to contain at least one of those who attacked a disability centre, killing 14 people and injuring 17 more.

It is understood that a third gunmen rolled from the dark SUV is now being pursued elsewhere by police. They remain at large, according to authorities.

Video from American news outlets shows officers with weapons drawn, working through a residential area. It is believed they are hunting for this third suspect. This is yet to be confirmed.

NBC reports the destroyed SVU is about 4km from where the shooting took place.

Police have a specialised vehicle to approach the vehicle. 

Officers fear the four-wheel-drive could be rigged with explosives, or that a wounded person inside could be preparing to attack the approaching police.

These details are changing frequently, and will be updated as soon as possible.



Police are calling for a "bear cat" - an armoured utility vehicle - to join the pursuit. A police chopper has also joined and an officer is positioned in the back with a rifle.

The police are pursuing a man in a vehicle who is travelling at high speed. It is unknown if the vehicle is related to the shooting but it is a dark-coloured Chevy truck, similar to a dark SUV one of the gunmen was seen fleeing the scene in.

Police officers can be heard shouting at each other in the background of the radio. Gun shots can be heard and one officer is screaming "hold your fire".

Police are frantically trying to clear traffic from the area.

The "suspect vehcile" has stopped. "Right now we have one down outside the car, one down inside the car and from what we understand one's on the run."

Shots have been fired at police out the back window of the truck.

Police pursuing the truck have confirmed to dispatchers that shots have been fired at officers.

"Multiple shots fire," an officer has shouted into the scanner.

"We need medical aid."


8.30 UPDATE:

Authorities say they do not know the motives behind a mass shooting at a disability centre in San Bernardino, California which has left 14 dead and another 14 injured.

Answering questions about terrorism, local police chief Jarrod Burguan said: "We do not know where the suspects are. We have no information at this point to indicate it's terrorist related" in the traditional sense. At minimum we have a domestic type terrorist situation that occurred here."

The shooters "came prepared to do what they did, as if they were on a mission", he said.

He added: "They came in with a purpose, they came in with the intent to do something."

Police officers who responded "did not engage or exchange gunfire with anybody", Mr Burguan said.

The police chief said the police department would provide a media update every hour, on the hour, over the course of the afternoon.

Mr Burguan said police received a call about a shooting around 11am local time. "It was quickly apprent we had an active shooting situation," he said.

A "massive law enforcement response" included "vitually every law enforcement agency in the area". Up to three people entered the building and opened fire, he said.

There were "upwards of 14 people dead", and 14 people injured, he said. Those were preliminary numbers he stressed. The injured had been taken to hospital. "This is a tragedy."

The suspects had fled the scene, "potentially in a dark coloured SUV". Police were not aware of a motive at this point, he said.



California governor sends out prayers to families of victims

California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. said in a statement: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims' families and everyone affected by the brutal attack. California will spare no effort in bringing these killers to justice."

"Out of respect for Californians affected by today's tragedy, this evening's annual Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be canceled. Although the ceremony is canceled, the Christmas tree will still be illuminated at 5:00 p.m.

"Capitol flags will be lowered to half-staff in honor of the victims and their families."


Vehicle found with multiple weapons near scene of shooting

A vehicle has been found with mulitple weapons inside near the scene of the shooting.

An officer at the scene said the grey Chrysler mini van was abandoned at the golf course.

Across the city police are responding to multiple calls about suspicious cars.

Police have also put out a call for civilians and media to keep well clear of the crime scene. One security guard "wandered through the middle of everything", an officer reported.


FBI: We do not know if this is a terrorist attack

An FBI spokesman said the agency was there to make sure all the wounded were extracted and public safety was a priority.

The FBI and law enforcement agencies would "do everything in our power to find and apprehend these suspects", he said. "We do not know" if this is a terrorist incident, he said.

The victims were all centrally located in one area of the facility, Mr Burguan said. There were both state and county employees, and other workers, in the centre.

There was "no information that any children were involved", he said.

The shooters were "people who came prepared", he said, indicating they were "dressed and equipped in a way that they were prepared".

They had "long guns, not handguns", he said, but they did not know what type of guns they were.

No weapons had been recovered at this point, he said.

Addressing concerns about a possible bomb in the building, Mr Burguan said law enforcement found "some things in the building that were not immediately identifiable" which "caused some concern".

"We do not know if they were planted by the suspects, we do no know if they are bombs or not, that needs to be looked at more closely."

Maybeth Feild, president and CEO of Inland Regional Centre, said the shooting took place in a conference area that an outside group was renting, AP reported. She did not know the identity of the group.

The building houses at least 25 employees as well as a library and conference centre, she said.



US President Barack Obama has called for "common sense gun safety reforms", in a nationally broadcast interview following the attack on a Californian disability centre.

"We should never think that this is just something that just happens in the ordinary course of events because it doesn't happen with the same frequency in other countries."


Lavinia Johnson, executive director of Inland Regional Centre, described to CNN the moment she learned of the shooters.

"The fire alarm was pulled and we thought it was a fire drill," she said, but when they got outside staff were told to get back inside and "lock our offices".

"There was an active shooter and we need to stay and get behind locked doors. We stayed in until police came in and evacuated us."

She said she was "very concerned about my staff".

The Inland Regional Centre leases offices in the facility to other organisations, she said, and she believed San Bernardino health rented the building where the incident happened this morning, when "one to three shooters walked into that situation and fired at people".


7.41AM: Shots fired at nearby mall following mass killing at disability centre

POLICE have reported an "unknown number of shots" being fired at the Waterman Discount Mall, close to the scene of the original shooting.

Reports suggest "up to 14" people have been confirmed dead. This number is yet to be verified.

A man has been spotted wearing military fatigues in the area and police are converging on the building. Another wearing a head set, tactical shorts and a backpack has also been spotted.

"He has a long beard, camouflage-type shorts... the witness said. He's pretty upset," an officer told the dispatcher.

Trains are being stopped in the San Bernardino and police are chasing up a number of sightings of a black SUV that one of the shooters may have fled the scene in.

The mall is being evacuated as police hunt for at least one armed man seen in the building.


Police believe the three suspects responsible for the shootings are armed with "AK-47-type weapons".

CNN reports that witnesses have told police they saw three men with long guns, who later got into a black four-wheel-drive and drove away.

A bomb squad search of the disability centre attacked by the gunmen discovered a suspicious package which will now be investigated by a robot.

AUTHORITIES have called in multiple SWAT teams following a mass shooting in the Californian city of San Bernardino.

It is unclear how many have been fatally injured in the attacks, but early reports suggest at least 12 dead with 20 injured.

Police warn there may be multiple gunman involved, with media outlets suggesting the men are thought to be heavily armed and wearing military gear and masks.

The Inland Regional Center -- which provides services for those with disabilities -- was the focus of the attack. 

The Center has a staff of 670.

SWAT teams and the bomb squad are now going door to door to all the buildings in the complex.

San Bernardino Police Lieutenant Richard Lawhead told news outlet KNBC that police were told "shots fired" with "multiple victims down" at 11am local time.

"We are not only using our SWAT team, but using SWAT teams from other jurisdictions to clear the facility," he said.

"As far as we know, it's confined to the Inland Regional Center."

A spokeswoman for the county sheriff's department said the shooters were "heavily armed" and "possibly wearing body armour".

Meanwhile US President Barack Obama has been given a briefing from his Homeland Security adviser.

Police on the scene of the shooting in San Bernadino, California.
Police on the scene of the shooting in San Bernadino, California.


6.04AM: At least 12 dead in California mass shooting: reports

CALIFORNIAN police are grappling with a gunman or "active shooter", with reports that at least 12 are dead and up to 20 injured.

MSNBC has reported that three heavily-armed shooters in military gear and masks are still at large.

The attackers appear to have targeted the Inland Regional Center in the city of San Bernardino.

The centre provides support for those with developmental disabilities.

It provides help to more than 30,000 people and employs close to 700 staff.

Already tales of survival have begun to emerge from the scene.

A woman who works at the building where the shootings occurred has texted her father, reports CNN, saying, "Shooting at my work. People shot".

Earlier reports suggested up to 20 could be dead, as the San Bernardino Fire Department told the public it was responding to a "20 victim shooting incident".

Footage aired on CNN showed crowds of people being evacuated from the area.

Potential witnesses were being moved to a shady spot under a tree by police to be spoken to about what they might have seen, a KABC reporter said.

The sheriff's department says there are "one to three possible suspects" responsible for the bloodshed.  

San Bernardino is east of Los Angeles, with a population of more than 200,000.

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