Tragedy in California

What we know so far

by Damaris Galeano (Staff Writer) – 12/19/15

The getaway vehicle after the chase
The getaway vehicle after the chase

With the investigation still unfolding, much is unclear of the mass shooting that took place in San Bernardino on December 2, 2015. At least 14 people were killed and 21 others injured in this tragedy and authorities are still trying to find the motive.

The suspects arrived at the InlandRegionalCenter at 11 a.m. on December 2, armed with four guns and wearing masks. The suspects — 28-year-old Syed RizwanFarook and his wife, 27-year-old Tashfeen Malik — opened fire inside the facility, which serves people with developmental disabilities, and fled in an SUV they rented earlier that week. They were killed in a massive shootout with police following a high-speed chase through San Bernardino. Police found an additional 1,600 rounds inside the vehicle. The couple had fired as many as 150 bullets inside the InlandRegionalCenter and then more in the shootout with the police, officials said.The couple had stockpiled thousands of rounds of ammunition and a dozen homemade pipe bombs in their home, a sign that they might have been planning further attacks.

The F.B.I has declared this as a terrorist attack, saying that the couple has been planning this for years.

“They were actually radicalized before they started courting or dating each other online, and as early as the end of 2013, they were talking to each other about jihad and martyrdom before they became engaged and then married and lived together in the United States,” FBI Director James Comey said at a Senate oversight hearing.

Investigators are still trying to find if the couple had any ties to foreign terror organizations. While the mass shooting may have been inspired by ISIS, a law enforcement official said, there’s no indication the terror group directed or ordered the attack, and President Barack Obama said that the attackers may have had “mixed motives.”

David Bowdich, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, commented that Farook had traveled to Pakistan. No red flags were raised though when went to Saudi Arabia for several weeks in 2013 on the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslims are required to take at least once in their lifetime. It was during this trip that he met Malik, a native of Pakistan who came to the United States in July 2014 on a “fiancée visa” and later became a lawful permanent resident. Officials also say that Farook had gone back to Saudi Arabia in July 2014 for nine days. A U.S. official described the 2014 trip as Farook’s “last recorded” trip to the country.

“If you look at the amount of obvious preplanning that went in, the amount of armaments (they) had, the weapons and the ammunition, there was obviously a mission here,” added Bowdich. “We know that. We do not know why. ”

President Obama made an appearance after the shooting to talk about gun control. “Right now, it’s too easy,” he said. “We’re going to have to search ourselves as a society … to take basic steps that would make it harder — not impossible, but harder — to let individuals get access to weapons.”

The names of the victims were released on December 3, the day after the shooting. Their names are: Robert Adams ,40; Isaac Amanios ,60; Bennetta Bet-Badal, 46; Harry Bowman, 46; Sierra Clayborn, 27; Juan Espinoza, 50; Aurora Godoy ,26; Shannon Johnson, 45; Larry Kaufman, 42; Damian Meins, 58; Tin Nguyen, 31; Nicholas Thalasinos, 52; Michael Wetzel, 37; and Yvette Velasco, 27.