WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — President Barack Obama said Thursday that it was possible the mass shooting in California was related to terrorism, but said investigators are continuing to search for the motives.
Speaking to journalists in the Oval Office, Obama said there may have been “mixed motives” behind the shooting, a factor that is complicating the investigation.
“It is possible that this was terrorist-related, but we don’t know. It’s also possible this was workplace-related,” Obama said after a meeting with his national security team. “At this point, this is now a FBI investigation that’s been done in cooperation and consultation with local law enforcement.”
He assured Americans that authorities will get to the bottom of what happened and also called for people to wait for facts before making judgments.
“The two individuals who were killed were equipped with weapons and appeared to have access to additional weaponry at their homes, but we don’t know why they did it,” he said.
The female suspect was identified as Tashfeen Malik, 27, Farook’s wife or fiancee. Burguan said he did not know Malik’s background.
Authorities on Thursday were trying to learn why the couple left behind their infant daughter and carried out a rampage that left 14 people dead and seriously wounded more than a dozen others in one of the nation’s worst mass shootings.
The couple was killed in a shootout with police hours after they carried out their precision assault.
It was the nation’s deadliest mass shooting since the attack at a school in Newtown, Connecticut, three years ago that left 26 children and adults dead.
On Thursday, Obama repeated his case for new gun control measures, a call he’s promised to issue after every mass shooting, although he did not lay out specific proposals or criticize the Republican-led Congress for blocking tighter controls, as he often does.
Speaking softly, a subdued Obama said too often Americans feel there’s nothing they can do to prevent this kind of violence.
“We all have a part to play. As the investigation moves forward, it’s going to be important for all of us, including our legislatures, to see what we can do to make sure that when an individual decides they want to do somebody harm, we make it a little harder for them to do it. Right now, it’s just too easy.
“We’re going to have to, I think, search ourselves as a society,” he said.
Obama ordered U.S. flags at the White House and other government buildings to be flown at half-staff through Monday to honor the victims of the shootings.
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