Fact vs. fiction: What’s true about the San Bernardino shooting

The investigation continues Thursday morning on San Bernardino Avenue, where two suspects in the mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center died in a shootout with police.

The investigation continues Thursday morning on San Bernardino Avenue, where two suspects in the mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center died in a shootout with police.

(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Fourteen people were killed in a shooting rampage on Wednesday in San Bernardino. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

In the rush to feed the public’s appetite for information about a tragedy, facts can get garbled. That was the case on Wednesday after two shooters killed 14 and injured 21 at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino.

Here’s an overview of the facts:

It's spelled B-E-R-N-A-R-D-I-N-O

San Bernardino, spelled with two r’s, became a subject of confusion as a misspelled version of its name was tweeted more than 300,000 times throughout the course of the day.

#SanBernadino soon became a trending topic on Twitter, despite users' attempts at correcting the mistake.

This was not about Planned Parenthood

Following attacks last week on a Colorado Springs-based Planned Parenthood, some early reports and speculation mistakenly identified the building in question as a Planned Parenthood facility. The organization clarified early on that they were safe, but not before rumors flew.

FULL COVERAGE: Rampage in San Bernardino >>

The building at the center of the shooting typically provides services to disabled people

The Inland Regional Center helps more than 27,000 developmentally disabled people, but the victims of Wednesday's shooting were from the San Bernardino County Public Health Department. Chief Executive Marybeth Feild said that the conference room where the shooting took place had been rented out to the group for a holiday party.

There were only two suspects

Early reports based on witness testimony suggested that three masked gunmen had entered the building and opened fire. San Bernardino police told reporters that two suspects had been “dealt with.” A possible third was “outstanding”, meaning that, at the time, there was no clarification whether two suspects were dead, nor whether a third suspect existed.

As suspects’ names were being identified, an LA Times reporter tweeted out an incorrect name. He subsequently deleted the tweet and posted a new one correcting the error.

We know now that there were two armed assailants. Syed Farook was an American citizen and former employee of the San Bernardino health department. He recently traveled to Saudi Arabia and returned with a new wife he met online, Tashfeen Malik. Farook and Malik had a baby, and according to Farook's co-wokers, were living the "American dream."

A third person was detained yesterday, but has since been cleared of any connection to the shooting.

We still don't know whether this was terrorist-related

The suspects' motive remains unknown. In a statement earlier today, President Barack Obama said:

It is possible this was terrorist related but we don't know. It's also possible this was workplace related.

There was only one police chase

Witnesses saw a black sport utility vehicle flee the scene shortly after the shooting occurred. About 3 p.m., police spotted a vehicle that matched the description of the SUV in Redlands, and pursued it back to San Bernardino.

Guns and pipe bombs were found at the scene

The suspects were armed with two assault rifles and two semiautomatic handguns that were purchased legally at Annie Get Your Gun, a gun store in Corona. Additionally, a barrage of other weapons were discovered in connection to the assailants.

It was the deadliest shooting since Newtown

In December 2012, a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary. Twenty-six people were killed, not including the gunman. Yesterday's attack left 14 people dead, and 21 wounded.

What questions do you have about the events surrounding the San Bernardino shooting? Leave them in the comments.


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