Family in middle of San Bernardino shootout doesn't want troops in Syria

The inside of Helen Medina's home is a portrait of warmth: pictures of her children and grandchildren line the walls, cabinets and TV stand. Little red Christmas bells and a cross hang in the kitchen.

But the usual serenity of her house was shattered Wednesday afternoon, when police opened fire on a black SUV driven by shooters Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik.

The blinds in her one-story home shook. Petrified, she threw herself on the hallway floor and hid from the gunfire.

"I didn't dare look outside," Medina, 87, said. "I thought I was going to die."


The 12 bullet holes in her roof are daily reminders of the violence.

On Sunday night, she sat on the couch with her daughter and grandson to hear President Obama's response to Wednesday's massacre.

As the president spoke of not allowing people on no-fly lists to get guns, Medina nodded.

"That's what we were talking about!" her grandson, Jonathan Tovar, said.

"Exactly," replied his mother, Barbara Tovar. "That's something that clearly needs to be done."

When Obama spoke of not putting anymore troops on the ground to fight the Islamic State, the family fervently agreed. Tovar's husband is in the Army and her other son is in the Marines, they said. They don't want to put them in harm's way.

"We can't forget that this isn't us against Muslims," the younger Tovar, 20, said. "We don't want to abandon our fellow man--we can't forget that."

Obama told the nation in his speech that "the threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it."

Obama insisted his administration is making progress in its efforts to confront terrorism and defeat Islamic State, a group he called "thugs and killers, a cult of death."

Obama said the attack in San Bernardino on Wednesday by a young couple with no known terrorist links highlighted the challenge of battling an extremist group that uses the Internet to lure people down "the dark path of radicalization."

He said his administration was using "every aspect of American power" to fight the extremist group in Iraq and Syria, and has stepped up efforts to identify and track potential sympathizers in the U.S.