San Bernardino live updates: Mass shooting kills 14, injures 17
What we know
- Around 11 a.m., two assailants opened fire in San Bernardino at a party in the Inland Regional Center, police said.
- Fourteen people were killed and 17 wounded. The motive is unknown.
- Police said there was "some degree of planning." The shooters were heavily armed and had tactical attire.
- After an afternoon car chase, two armed suspects were killed by police: Syed Farook and Tafsheen Malik, authorities said.
- A third person was detained but might not be connected to the shooting.
- Authorities are searching a home in nearby Redlands.
- Anyone who suspects a relative was killed or injured can call a family assistance hotline at (800) 637-6653.
Times reporters are providing updates from the scene. Click here to scroll to the start of today's coverage.
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Police destroyed three devices believed to be explosives at shooting site
Authorities have only recently begun to process the scene at the Inland Regional Center after three devices, which police believe were explosives, were destroyed, said San Bernardino police Chief Jarrod Burguan.
The chief said investigators are not sure what the devices were made of, but that they are "leaning a little bit more toward a pipe bomb-type design."
Bomb squad officers disposed of three devices a couple of hours ago, Burguan said in a news conference late Wednesday.
"We believe that those were explosive devices," Burguan said.
Attack was not a 'spur of the moment kind of thing'
Two guns recovered from suspects were purchased legally, federal officials say
Meredith Davis, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said officials had "successfully traced" the four guns recovered in connection with the San Bernardino shooting and determined that two of the weapons were purchased legally.
The guns were bought by an individual associated with the investigation, Davis said but declined to name the person.
"Agents continue to investigate leads concerning the two additional firearms," Davis said.
Police officials said that two suspects, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, were armed with two semiautomatic rifles and two semiautomatic handguns.
The semiautomatic rifles were a .223-caliber DPMS Model A15 and a Smith and Wesson M&P15. One of the handguns was manufactured by Llama, and the other by Smith and Wesson.
Farook traveled to Saudi Arabia, was married and seemed to be living 'American dream,' co-workers say
Shooting suspect Syed Farook, a health inspector with San Bernardino County’s public health department, joined dozens of his colleagues at a party Wednesday morning at the Inland Regional Center. He disappeared shortly before the mass shooting erupted.
Farook, 28, who had worked for the county for five years, "did leave the party early under circumstances described as 'angry,'" San Bernardino police Chief Jarrod Burguan said at a news conference late Wednesday night.
Burguan said law enforcement officials are "reasonably confident" that Farook and 27-year-old Tashfeen Malik, who was his wife or fiancee, were the two suspects in the mass shooting that occurred during the party.
Family members told the Los Angeles Times that the couple had been married for two years.
Co-workers told The Times that they were shocked to hear Farook’s name linked to the shooting. Two employees who were in the bathroom when the bullets began to fly said he was quiet and polite, with no obvious grudges.
They said Farook had recently traveled to Saudi Arabia and returned with a woman he'd met online. The couple had a baby and appeared to be “living the American dream,” said Patrick Baccari, a fellow inspector who shared a cubicle with Farook.
Baccari and Christian Nwadike said Farook, who had worked with them for about three years, rarely started a conversation. But he was well-liked.
They and other colleagues said Farook was a devout Muslim who rarely discussed religion at work.
Both slain suspects identified
The male and female suspects who died in a gun battle with police Wednesday afternoon were Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, San Bernardino's police chief announced.
Farook was born in the U.S. and worked as a county employee, and Malik's nationality was not yet known, Chief Jarrod Burguan said.
The pair had a relationship, he said: They were either married or engaged.
Each had an assault rifle and a semiautomatic handgun when they died, he said.
Burguan said police are confident that there were two shooters in Wednesday morning's massacre.
Residents stranded after police say Redlands search could go on for hours
Redlands police officials have confirmed that they assisted in executing a warrant in the 50 block of North Center Street on Wednesday afternoon. The search warrant was associated with the shooting in San Bernardino, officials confirmed, and law enforcement have made entry into the home.
Carl Baker, spokesman for City of Redlands and Redlands Police Department, said anything found during the execution of the warrant will be released by the lead agencies on the case.
Some residents have voluntarily evacuated, Baker said.
A place of shelter becomes a place of prayer again
Rosie McNally sat in the pews of the Rock Church, which served as a sanctuary just a few blocks away from Wednesday morning's shooting in San Bernardino.
Earlier in the day, witnesses took shelter from the violence there to contact loved ones and tell them they were safe. Wednesday night, it provided a place for worshipers to pray for the people killed and injured in the chaos.
The evening service was shorter than usual, a pastor said, because it was meant to focus on praying for the victims and their families. McNally said the room was filled with more people than usual.
"The pastors said you get up on days like this and don't know it's your last," she said.
McNally, who works for Amazon, said her office was on lockdown until 6:30 Wednesday evening. It gave her just enough time to make the 7 p.m. service.
"I prayed for those who lost their lives, and for their families to be able to cope with their loss," she said.
Suspect's brother-in-law expresses condolences to shooting victims
A brother-in-law of one of the suspected shooters spoke to reporters Wednesday evening, saying he was in "shock" over what had happened.
"The reason I am here is to express [for] my family … how sad they are for what happened," said Farhan Khan, who said he was the husband of suspect Syed Farook's sister. "I'm very sad people lost their lives and there are victims out there."
Khan said he last spoke to his brother-in-law about a week ago.
Asked whether Farook was religious, Khan declined to comment.
"I have no idea why would he do that. Why would he do something like this. I have absolutely no idea," Khan said. "I’m in shock myself."
Khan stood alongside leaders of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who condemned the violence.
Inside the Inland Regional Center: 'Oh my God! There's a shooting! There's a lady who got shot!'
Just before noon, Melinda Rivas heard a scream from a co-worker.
"Oh my God! There's a shooting! There's a lady who got shot!" Rivas, a social worker at the Inland Regional Center, recalled her co-worker saying.
Rivas, 51, works on the third floor of Building 2 at the center. She said her co-worker saw a woman who had been shot on the sidewalk between Buildings 2 and 3.
Rivas and her colleagues rushed into a conference room away from exterior windows, and barricaded the door with all the furniture they could find -- desks, chairs, tables. They sat on the floor, trying to stay low.
Witnesses told Rivas that the attackers wore all black, and wore ski masks. Rivas said she later saw one survivor who had blood covering his dress shirt. Later in the day, as she passed by the center, she saw shoes, sweaters, jackets, even purses lying in the street where people had fled.
“I’m just glad I’m alive,” said Rivas, who has been employed at the center for about a decade and works with teens and young adults with disabilities and their families.
“I never thought I was going to be a part of it,” she said. “Today, it was us.”
Praise for law enforcement
Andrea Hamilton Dixon, 55, was emotional as she stood near the yellow police tape blocking off her mother's Redlands street. Her 80-year-old mother was still inside the home.
When Hamilton Dixon had spoken to her mother earlier, she had been unaware of the violence. "Mom, turn on the TV," Hamilton Dixon told her.
The longtime Redlands resident praised the police. Instead of the five-hour search, Hamilton Dixon said, the manhunt could have dragged on for days, like the 2012 search for fugitive cop Christopher Dorner , who ultimately died in a shootout near Big Bear. "They could have gotten on the freeway, gone up to Big Bear and hidden in the forest like that other dude," she said of the suspects.
"I am so thankful for these guys," she said, pointing to the flashing emergency lights illuminating the neighborhood.
Don't panic, mayor says
Deadliest shooting since Sandy Hook
Police activity continues at Redlands home
Police are preparing to evacuate residents in a Redlands neighborhood where one of the identified suspects is believed to have lived.
Hours after police said they were serving a search warrant on a residence in Redlands, police continued to warn bystanders of potential dangers on the scene.
Law enforcement officials used a battering ram to break open the door of the townhouse where a person with the same name as one of the identified suspects is believed to have resided.
Officials also sent a SWAT team robot into the home, according to reporters on the scene.
Times staff writer Kate Mather reported hearing what sounded like flash-bangs going off at the residence.
Farook attended last year's holiday party, an ex-colleague recalls
Griselda Reisinger, a former co-worker of the Syed Farook, said Farook flew under the radar at San Bernardino County's relatively small public health department.
“He was very quiet,” said Reisinger, who worked for 11 years as an environmental inspector. “I would say hi and bye, but we never engaged him in conversation. He didn’t say much at all.”
Law enforcement sources have said a person named Syed Farook is a suspect in the case, but have not identified him as the Syed Farook who worked for the public health department.
Reisinger said she remembered Farook attending last year's holiday party, held in the same conference room.
She heard from colleagues that the department held a baby shower for Farook and that he recently returned from paternity leave.
Reisinger left the job in May. She said the department was in turmoil, with many workers leaving over the last year because of problems with management.
'She was screaming and shouting, and the phone cut off'
Luis Gutierrez was dropping his son off at day care when his wife, Janet Gutierrez, called. She works with low-income families who have autistic children and was in the building that was attacked in San Bernardino on Wednesday.
"All I heard was, 'There's a shooter,' " he said. "Once I heard that, I went into panic mode."
He told her to get in a room, shut the door, hide. Through an upstairs window, she said she could see a gunman below. He was dressed in all black, wearing a mask, carrying "a really big gun" and firing into the first floor.
Janet Gutierrez and her co-workers flipped a desk, pushed it against the door and hoped the gunman wouldn't come in.
"She was screaming and shouting," Luis Gutierrez said, "and the phone cut off."
Luis Gutierrez dropped his son off at his parents' home, and he and his father drove as close as they could, ending up at Waterman Avenue and Orange Show Road, where the police perimeter was setting up. Media were nearby, and he prayed for his wife and her colleagues as he heard reports of fatalities.
Janet Gutierrez called him in the afternoon, using a friend's phone; her battery had run out while they were speaking. She had been escorted out of the building by police and was being interviewed.
She was unhurt.
"She's just in shock," Luis Gutierrez said. "It's a real nightmare right now."
He was crying -- even hours later, recounting the morning's events was hard.
But he had a plan for when he sees his wife:
'You wouldn't believe how long it lasted'
Watching on TV, 'then all of a sudden it's here'
Faith Sanders stood outside a cordoned-off Redlands neighborhood Wednesday with other residents awaiting word when her neighbors could go back to their homes.
“You can’t tell me anything can you?” she asked a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy who approached the perimeter.
“No," he replied. "All I can tell is it's related to the shooting in San Bernardino." Investigators would probably be there all night, he added.
About 4 p.m., Sanders said, she was inside her home and heard commotion outside. She went outside and saw a police helicopter hovering above and police in tactical gear with helmets and guns drawn.
Sanders pulled out her phone and started snapping photos. The former Loma Linda hospital employee had been chatting with her old co-workers all day after their facility was evacuated after a bomb threat.
“I’ve been stuck to the TV all day. I was shocked because I was watching it there, then all of a sudden it’s here,” she said.
About 5 p.m., Sanders said, the police made their way into an apartment complex down the street through the back.
In this neighborhood, white picket fences separate well-manicured lawns from the streets where residents jog and walk without fear. In five years, Sanders said, she’s never seen anything like what happened Wednesday.
-- Kate Mather and Joe Serna
'I'm fearing the worst. ... We know she was there.'
As night fell, Mindy Velasco paced her office at InsideOut Writers, a program based in East Hollywood that conducts writing classes for incarcerated youth.
She called phone number after phone number for hospitals, police, evacuee centers -- any place that might have information about her niece, Yvette Velasco.
But no one knew anything about Yvette Velasco's whereabouts.
In her late 20s, Yvette Velasco works for the San Bernardino County health department in a unit responsible for restaurant inspections. She had told her family she would be attending a work holiday banquet.
"I'm fearing the worst," Mindy Velasco said, her voice breaking. "Her sister asked me to pray because we know she was there."
"Yvette is usually in constant touch with us. She would definitely be in contact after something like this," Mindy Velasco said. "But, as of now, there is nothing."
One suspect's name is Syed Farook, sources say
Two law enforcement sources identified one of the suspects in the San Bernardino shooting as Syed Farook.
According to public records, a Syed R. Farook worked as an environmental health specialist for San Bernardino County. It's unclear whether that is the same person connected to the attack. The shooting occurred at an event for the county's public health department.
Two other federal law enforcement sources, while not revealing the name of the suspect they were referring to, said he was an American citizen.
-- Richard Serrano and Richard Winton
'I think people have forgotten about us as a city'
At the Hernandez Community Center, where families and friends were told to come to get information on loved ones, buses continued to arrive as darkness set over San Bernardino. Inland Regional Center workers and others who had been present during the attacks looked weary and traumatized as they were guided off the buses, past a growing crowd of television crews, and into a gymnasium, where food was being provided. Probation Department officers stood guard. Reporters were not allowed into the building.
Jeff Lantosh, a 26-year-old building inspector, didn't have any family members working at the Inland Regional Center. But he had been following the news all day and decided to stop here to show his support -- for the victims and his city, which has been wracked by crime and poverty.
"We've definitely gone through some rough times," he said. "I think people have forgotten about us as a city."
Possible explosive device is found
Officials found suspicious items, one that may be an explosive device, while searching the Inland Regional Center, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said.
Regarding reports of an explosive device thrown from an SUV, Burguan said: “There was a report that they potentially threw what was identified as a pipe bomb. ... It was not an explosive.”
Victims' bodies have not yet been moved
Coroner's investigators were called to the scenes of this morning's mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center and of this afternoon's shootout between suspects and police, but they have not yet identified the dead or removed their bodies, said Robert Shaw, lead supervising deputy coroner for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
The bodies of the other victims remain in the building, Shaw said. Coroner’s investigators have not yet been allowed inside Inland Regional Center to recover the bodies because authorities want to preserve the integrity of the crime scene and allow for the collection of evidence.
The coroner will not release names, ages or other information about the victims until their relatives are notified, Shaw said. He expects many of the notifications to take place by Thursday.
Anyone who thinks a relative was killed or wounded is asked to call a family assistance hotline at (800) 637-6653. The coroner's division is setting up a center at the Hampton Inn & Suites in nearby Highland to notify families in person. Counselors will be on hand, Shaw said.
Federal law enforcement source: Gunman believed to be U.S. citizen
The lead gunman connected to the mass shooting in San Bernardino is believed to be a U.S. citizen, according to a federal law enforcement source speaking on condition of anonymity.
The source added that links to international terrorism are still on the table, however, as the assailants could have been encouraged by a foreign terror group.
Two suspects, one man and one woman, dead after shootout
--Two people, a man and a woman, are dead after a confrontation with police.
-- A third person seen running away from the scene has been detained, but it's not clear if he is connected to the shootings.
--Both deceased suspects were inside a dark SUV that was the subject of a police pursuit after officers arrived to investigate a home in Redlands.
--The suspects in the SUV were dressed in "assault-style clothing" and were armed with assault rifles and handguns, officials said.
-- Police said they are still clearing the Inland Regional Center where the mass shooting occurred and have found what they believe is an explosive device.
-- While initial reports said the attackers had thrown explosive devices, police said an object that was thrown was not a bomb.
Police serving warrant in Redlands
San Bernardino police are serving a warrant in the nearby city of Redlands that is related to Wednesday's shooting, a Redlands city spokesman told The Times.
According to the Associated Press, it is a search warrant and is being delivered to a home.
Update from Loma Linda Medical Center, where multiple victims were taken
A place to reunite -- or wait and hope
Outside the Hernandez Community Center, families waited to be reunited with relatives who had been at the Inland Regional Center during the attack.
Greg Johnson smoked a cigarette and paced the sidewalk, hoping his 42-year-old nephew, Daniel Kaufman, who works in the coffee shop, would arrive on one of the school buses delivering the survivors.
"We haven't been able to get ahold of him," he said. They're saying it could be a couple of hours." Johnson said his family was told that witnesses were being interviewed before being transferred.
After his classes were canceled Wednesday, Nathan Hernandez, 25, stayed glued to the television all afternoon, watching news of the deadly shooting.
Suddenly, Hernandez said, he heard the sounds of a police pursuit and bullets struck the side of his house.
Pops of gunfire continued, he said, for up to two minutes. When he called 911, a dispatcher told him to stay down and lock all his doors.
"You could tell there was crossfire," Hernandez told the Los Angeles Times by phone as he crouched on the floor in his family's living room. "They were shooting so many rounds per second."
"It felt timeless," said Mahir Rahman, a 17-year-old student at Citrus Valley High School in Redlands. "It felt like an eternity."
Rahman had just come home from school around 3 p.m. and was walking to the kitchen for a glass of water when he heard the shots.
Rahman said he and his mother ran into his bedroom and slid under the bed. His cellphone began lighting up with texts from friends. "Your house is on TV," said one.
About 10 minutes later, he said, they crept into the living room and peered out the window, spotting more than 20 police cars parked on the street and officers armed with tactical gear.
By 4:15 p.m., about an hour later, they still hadn't received the all-clear from officials to leave.
Another theory: Attacker had a target in mind
At least 1 in custody, possibly another at large, after police shootout that injured officer
At least one suspect is down and there may be another at large after a police pursuit and shootout, said San Bernardino Sheriff spokeswoman Sgt. Vicki Cervantes.
It remains unclear whether the incident was related to the earlier shooting at the Inland Regional Center.
"Let's be vigilant," Cervantes told reporters who were gathered a couple of miles from the site where the standoff occurred. "There very well may be a suspect outstanding."
One San Bernardino police officer was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Cervantes said.
She called it a "very active, fluid situation."
A somber moment in D.C.
What happened just before the shooting?
According to a federal law enforcement official, authorities believe that one man angrily left the event that county employees were holding Wednesday morning at the Inland Regional Center.
The man, they believe, returned with "one or two" others and opened fire.
'The guys opened fired for 30 seconds, randomly, then paused to reload'
It was 2:45 p.m. when Denise Peraza, 27, called a relative who was waiting outside of the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. As friends and relatives crowded around the phone, they listened as Peraza provided details of the shooting.
She said the doors of the environmental health services office of San Bernardino County opened and two men dressed all in black wearing black face masks entered with “big 'ol guns” and started shooting randomly.
“Everyone dropped to the floor. It was during a holiday party,” Peraza told relatives. “The guys opened fired for 30 seconds, randomly, then paused to reload and began firing again.”
Peraza was hiding under a desk when she was shot once in the lower back. She said the shooters were gone and everything was silent for about five minutes. Then, suddenly, the doors were pushed opened again, but this time it was law enforcement officers. Lots of them, and they yelled out: “Anyone who can move, leave immediately and find cover behind vehicles.”
Peraza said they were then helped into the beds of pickup trucks and taken to a safer location.
Massive police response to active situation
Number of injured now at 17
Suspect is down and a chaotic scene unfolding; unclear if related to mass shooting
Police in San Bernardino are involved in an apparent confrontation with a suspect or suspects in a dark-colored SUV.
It is not clear whether the incident is related to Wednesday's shooting.
At an afternoon news conference, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department confirmed that there was an "active scene" a couple of miles away from the site of the shooting.
Shots were fired, she said, and a suspect was down.
Shortly before 3 p.m., police began pursuing a black sport utility vehicle in San Bernardino.
Police had said that a black SUV was seen driving away from the office complex where the shooting occurred.
TV footage showed dozens of police officers approaching the SUV, and officers in tactical gear could be seen moving through a San Bernardino neighborhood.
Kevin Ortiz, a county environmental inspector, was shot twice in the leg and once in the shoulder.
Amid the chaos, the 24-year-old managed to call his wife of two weeks and his father to tell them he was alive.
"Kevin said he had been shot three times and that he was in pain but he was all right," Dyana Ortiz, 23, said. "Then he said, 'I love you,' and I said, 'I love you.'"
San Bernardino mayor: 'Severe loss and severe shock'
At first, Dorothy Vong assumed it was a drill – just like all the others at her work. At the Inland Regional Center, where she’s a nurse, the staff works with clients and parents of clients who are sometimes angry. They have active-shooter drills every month or so.
“Drill started,” she texted her husband, Mark, around 11 a.m. She walked to a window nearby and filmed a video as law enforcement sprinted toward the building.
“Oh, that is scary,” a voice says calmly in the background.
“They’re all geared up!” someone else says. “Rifles and everything!” In the background, someone laughs – they still didn’t know. Then the reality set in.
She texted her husband again: “Well it’s real.”
And then a few minutes later, another message: “We’re in a locked office.” Mark Vong said he told his wife to stay calm and not to panic.
“They train for this,” he said, standing outside a police barricade Wednesday afternoon. “They know it’s going to happen.”
San Bernardino City Unified: 'Our students are safe'
School officials in San Bernardino said schools would be dismissed “as usual” today, although the after-school program CAPS will not take place.
From the San Bernardino City Unified School District's Facebook page:
"We reassure you that our students are safe. As a precaution, no one is allowed into any of our campuses for the time being. The incident unfolding near the San Bernardino Golf Course is not near our schools. Schools will be dismissed as usual."
"Le aseguramos que todos nuestros alumnos están a salvo. Como una precaución, no se está permitiendo a nadie entrar a nuestros planteles escolares por ahora. El incidente que sucedio cerca del San Bernardino Golf Course no está cerca de nuestras escuelas. Los alumnos saldrán a la hora regular. Gracias.”
A mother's advice during a mass shooting: Make it look like no one is in the room
Olivia Navarro's daughter Jamile called her just after 11 a.m. Wednesday to tell her that multiple shooters were inside the Inland Regional Center, where she works.
Navarro told her daughter, who works as a case manager for children with special needs, to turn off all the lights and not to call again. Make it look like no one is in the room, she advised.
So Jamile did. And she told everyone else in the room to stay quiet, too.
Her phone shut off shortly after, sending Navarro into a fit of sobs as she wondered if her daughter was one of the people killed.
Police would later let Olivia know that her daughter was fine and had been evacuated to a golf course across the street
"I want to hold her, and thank God that she's alive," Navarro said.
A surreal scene, high nerves at Loma Linda University Medical Center
Kat Kit was waiting for her daughter to come out of routine surgery at Loma Linda University Medical Center when helicopters started unloading shooting victims and emergency workers began setting up triage areas.
The scene, she said, was surreal.
“I’m afraid, I’m scared and I’m sad,” said Kit, who lives in Fontana.
Authorities say at least 14 people were killed and at least 14 others were wounded by up to three shooters.
Nerves were high in the hospital's waiting room.
“They haven’t caught them yet,” said Linda Frankenbergen, who was waiting for her husband to come out of surgery.
“And that’s scary,” Kit said, “because they could come in here.”
Preliminary numbers: 14 dead, 14 injured
The assailants killed at least 14 people and left another 14 wounded, San Bernardino police Chief Jarrod Burguan said, cautioning that those numbers are preliminary.
They may have opened fire on a holiday party being held by county employees, federal law enforcement sources and a witness told the Los Angeles Times.
-- James Queally and Richard A. Serrano
One victim in critical condition at Arrowhead Regional
Six victims from Tuesday's shooting -- five women and one man -- were transported to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, according to Dev GnanaDev, chairman of the hospital's surgery department.
One person was in critical but stable condition, Gnanadev said.
One of the patients was in surgery, two were in intensive care and two others are being monitored, according to hospital officials. One person was sent home.
Two other patients that had been headed to the hospital with "graze wounds" were sent to a community hospital instead, Gnanadev said.
Mother of woman who heard gunshots: "She's scared"
Multiple shooters stormed into a conference room at the Inland Regional Center two minutes after Miranda Stutte stepped out to go to the restroom, her mother told The Times.
Stutte, who works for the Department of Public Health, locked herself in the bathroom when she heard gunshots.
She was later evacuated to the golf course across the street from the Regional Center.
"She's scared," her mother said. "She has never had an experience like this."
Shooter or shooters were armed with long guns
San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said the assailant or assailants were armed with long guns.
“We do not have any weapons recovered at this point,” he said. “We’re doing everything we can to keep this area safe.”
Of the intent, Burguan said: “They came in with a purpose.”
Attackers have fled; government buildings locked down
Some details from the ongoing news conference:
'Pray for everyone'
Marybeth Feild's phone rang over and over again with terrible news.
There was gunfire at the nonprofit Inland Regional Center, where she serves as board president and chief executive.
Her callers reported that shooters were in the large conference room that had been rented for a party. Employees told her that three shooters had opened fire.
The conference space is the largest room in the building, which houses employee offices, two to three small conference rooms, a public library and a coffee shop, she said.
Nearly all of the center’s employees were evacuated from the building and taken to the Rock Church & World Outreach Center in San Bernardino, she said.
“They are the best people anybody would want to work with,” Feild said.
Feild who handles all complaints and threats made to the center said the day had been normal, nothing to indicate trouble.
“I don’t even understand why they would target these individuals,” Feild said. “This is very bizarre. I don’t know why anybody would want to hurt people who provide disability services.”
Feild said she was heartbroken.
“Just pray for everyone,” she said.
Obama decries spate of mass shootings in U.S.
Federal sources: County workers may have been targeted
The shooting took place at a gathering of San Bernardino County employees, according to federal law enforcement sources who requested anonymity because the investigation is active and ongoing. Those officials said they think that group, not the Inland Regional Center, may have been targeted.
Keith Nelson, vice president of the Inland Regional Center’s Board of Trustees, said the shooting took place in building No. 3 on the campus.
Building No. 3 is the only building on the campus that is open to the public and does not require a work badge to enter, Nelson said.
The conference room, which holds up to 200 people, was decorated for a holiday party, said Marybeth Feild, board president and chief executive of the center.
San Bernardino public schools on lockdown
"All San Bernardino City Unified School District schools and offices are on full lockdown for the safety of students and staff," the school district announced.
"All schools are scheduled to dismiss students on time today," it said in a statement, adding that during lockdowns, all gates and entrances are to be secured and no visitors are allowed.
Worried in Washington
Rep. Mark Takano said he and fellow lawmakers working at the Capitol are closely monitoring the situation in San Bernardino.
Takano, a Democrat representing California's 41st District, which includes Riverside, was speaking to a reporter on another matter and offered his concerns.
“My heart goes out to the victims of the shootings. It hits home to me because San Bernardino is right next door to Riverside. I used to drive into San Bernardino County to go to work. ... This shooting is disturbing and my thoughts are definitely with the people of San Bernardino and the victims and the victims’ families.”
Rep. Pete Aguilar, who represents the area, is on his way home from Washington now. Others are following the news from D.C.
“The news is definitely on the minds of lawmakers here. We’re all very concerned about it,” Takano said.
Shooting victims have been taken to a number of area hospitals.
Hospital and school go on lockdown
A local hospital and a charter school for elementary- and middle-school students near the site of the shooting have gone on lockdown.
The Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, which is reportedly treating some victims of the shooting, will be on lockdown for at least the next six hours, security guards said. Nobody is being allowed in the main entrance.
The Norton Space and Aeronautics Academy, which accepts students in kindergarten through eighth grade, is a block north of the Inland Regional Center, where the shooting took place.
“We are OK,” a school employee told The Times via phone. “We are on lockdown, but we are just taking precautions.”
Veronica Esparza, whose 9-year-old and 11-year-old nephews attend the school, waited for more news near the police barricade set up
around the site of the shooting. She said she had received a recorded message that the children were fine.
-- Paloma Esquivel, Laura J. Nelson and Alan Zarembo
Victim's sister: Not knowing more 'is the scariest part'
Kathy Hotetz, 37, is one of dozens of people waiting for information outside of Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.
Her sister, Denise Peraza, 27, was shot in the leg and was being treated there, Hotetz said.
Hotetz said her sister works for the county and was shot once.
"She's alive. That's all I know," Hotetz said. "Not knowing any more than that is the scariest part."
San Bernardino police plead with people to stay away
San Bernardino is 'no stranger to violence'
The San Bernardino Police Department reported 43 homicides last year in the municipality of more than 200,000 people, according to FBI crime data. The city’s homicide rate was tied with Oakland for second highest in California among large cities.
Compton ranked highest last year in the state with a homicide rate of 25 victims per 100,000 residents, according to the FBI reports.
Shooter or shooters opened fire in a conference area during a party, sources say
The shooting at a San Bernardino office building Wednesday morning began in a conference room where a party was being held, federal law enforcement sources and a witness told the Los Angeles Times.
Up to three shooters, reportedly wearing camouflage and masks, left up to 20 people injured and multiple dead after gunfire erupted around 11 a.m., the sources and police officials said.
A person who was inside the building and declined to be identified also told The Times that the shooting may have happened during a Christmas party.
The fatal mass shooting in San Bernardino on Wednesday took place at a facility dedicated to helping people with disabilities.
With nearly 670 employees, the Inland Regional Center serves people with developmental disabilities in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, according to the center’s Facebook.
The center provides services to more than 30,200 people with developmental disabilities and their families for at least 40 years.
The nonprofit organization serves children, adults and seniors.
According to the center, it was “built on the foundation of three core values – independence, inclusion, and empowerment. In following these core values, we hope to help provide each individual with a service system that helps identify and eliminate barriers for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families so they can closely live a typical lifestyle.”
The center has seen controversy in the past.
In 2010, parents and care provider criticized the center, alleging it ignored children’s needs, the San Bernardino Sun reported. The center was accused for appearing to show favoritism regarding vendor rates.
Employees filed a civil lawsuit against the center alleging they were retaliated against for advocating for patients, the Sun reported.
Witnesses take buses away from scene
At a Shell gas station near Orange Show Road and South Waterman Avenue, dozens of people evacuated from the building filed into a line of five buses parked along the road. Some shielded their faces from the line of cameras — television and cellphone — being held back by yellow police tape. A few were visibly rattled. One woman blew a kiss to another from a bus window.
Armed officers from the San Bernardino County probation office escorted the group and handed out water bottles.
For those searching for loved ones
Newsom reiterates call for gun control
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who plans to lead a ballot initiative to toughen gun restrictions next year , cited today's shootings as an example of why such measures are needed.
“What more evidence do you need that we need to step it up as it relates to gun safety in this state? It is just unacceptable what is going on in this country. And California needs to lead the way,” Newsom said after an event with the California Nurses Assn. in Los Angeles.
“Today’s tragedy just reinforces the imperative to not wait around for Congress to their job, but for this state to do its job. And giving the voters the opportunity to do that directly is something that I think is important because the NRA even in a Democratic state has intimidated politicians in Sacramento.”
Officials, candidates react to shooting
President Obama has been briefed on the San Bernardino shooting.
'Nobody is in custody'
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy Olivia Bozek said shots were heard around 11 a.m. when authorities got the first 911 call. She said no additional gunshots were heard since authorities secured the building's perimeter.
“They’re still trying to evacuate the building,” Bozek said. “Nobody is in custody.”
Bozek said there are one to three suspects. She said as many as 10 to 20 people were shot.
Cervantes confirmed that people have been killed in the shooting, but did not give a number of dead. She also said there are multiple people injured at the scene,
Sources: SUV fled scene, police detonate suspicious device
Police are now searching for an SUV that fled the scene of a mass shooting that left up to 20 people injured inside a social services building in San Bernardino, federal law enforcement sources told the Los Angeles Times.
At least three suspected shooters vanished from the building after the gunfire, the source said. Police have also used a robot to detonate a suspicious device found on the premises, according to the sources, who requested anonymity because the investigation is active and ongoing.
Police on the scene were assembling a battering ram to gain access to the building, and investigators believe one suspect may still be inside, the source said.
Hospital readies for patients
In a recorded message on Loma Linda University Medical Center's emergency hotline, the hospital said it was expecting an influx of patients from the shooting. The number of patients was not immediately available.
Obama gets briefing
According to a White House official, President Obama "has been briefed by his Homeland Security advisor, Lisa Monaco, about the shooting in San Bernardino and has asked to be updated on the situation as it develops."
No connection to Planned Parenthood seen
Officials confirm that the shooting did not occur at a Planned Parenthood facility.
More photos from the scene
Police, fire and rescue crews respond to the San Bernardino shooting scene.
Fred Henning was holed up inside the paralegal’s office where he works with his wife, about a block from the scene of the San Bernadino shooting. Henning said they were standing outside as helicopters swooped over the area, but fled into the building as police flooded the area.
“We just came inside because it could be stray bullets, who knows?” Henning said. “We did mill around outside for a while, but we decided the better plan was to stay in. We’re stranded in here … we’re in an office building.”
The block where the shooting took place is home to a number of businesses, Henning said, including a three-building complex that houses his office and roughly 140 others.
“I see squad cars like you won’t believe,” Henning said.
Tom Brown said he and countless other employees and customers at the San Bernardino Golf Club were on lockdown Wednesday afternoon after reports of the shooting began to play out on television.
“We’re not allowing anyone on the golf course. We got a big helicopter sitting in the middle of the No. 1 fairway,” Brown said. “We’re several hundred yards away from the area. We can see fire and S.W.A.T. from here, but we’re not allowed to go any farther.”
Brown said a coworker told him heard she gunshots from the industrial park across the street. He couldn’t say how many she heard.
Meanwhile, the bus company that provides transportation for San Bernardino City Unified School District is offering its buses to transport victims and witnesses to the shooting, said district spokeswoman Linda Berdere.
ATF is en route
Initial images of the scene
Location of shooting
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