HOMELAND SECURITY: [UPDATE] Two Mass Shooting Suspects Slain in Gun Battle with Police
San Bernardino Bloodbath.
Authorities in San Bernardino, California say two suspects in a mass shooting that left 14 people dead and 17 wounded, Wednesday (December 2) were themselves killed in a running gun battle with police later in the day.
San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said the suspects, a male and a female, were killed in an exchange of gunfire with pursuing police that left their dark-colored SUV riddled with bullets on a city street.
Fourteen people were killed and 17 were wounded in the late morning shooting at a holiday party at a rented meeting space that sparked the police chase and gun battle. The FBI said “it is a possibility ” that terrorism is a motive. But David Bowdich, assistant special agent in charge of the Los Angeles field office said the bureau is “still not wiling to say that it is” yet. He added: “We will go where the evidence takes us.”
In an outdoor televised news conference, Burguan said police received a tip after the shooting that led them to a residence in nearby Redlands, California. While the building was under police surveillance the two suspects fled in the SUV, the chief said, and police pursued them. An officer who intercepted the vehicle was wounded and later hospitalized. A third person seen leaving the scene was apprehended and is being held for questioning. “We do not know the extent of his involvement — if any,” Burguan said.
The fleeing pair exchanged shots with police who fired numerous times at the vehicle. Both occupants were killed and police took their time cautiously approaching and searching the getaway vehicle, which authorities said contained suspicious materials that could be explosives. The police chief said the suspects were dressed in “assault style clothing” and were armed with assault rifles and handguns. It is not clear if there was a third shooter as some witnesses told police after the incident.
Around 11 a.m. Pacific Time Wednesday, gunmen burst in on a gathering at a local office building owned by a private sector social services company. Fourteen people were killed and 17 were wounded. Some other people in the building were injured fleeing the facility.
After the shooting, authorities said witnesses told them at least three gunmen armed with long guns opened fire and fled the Inland Regional Center after just a few minutes.
Descriptions of the three suspects and their vehicle were very sketchy. A motive for the shootings has not yet been determined and while it appeared to bear the hallmarks of a terrorist attack, officials are not calling it that at this time.
In addition to local police and county sheriff’s deputies, the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service and California Highway Patrol were reported on the scene, according to the Los Angeles Times.