SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (CBSNewYork/AP) — At least two, possibly three gunman believed to be wearing military-style gear opened fire Wednesday at a San Bernardino, California social services center, killing at least 14 people and wounding 18 more in what authorities described as a targeted mission.
As 1010 WINS reported, two suspects, a male and a female, were killed. They were both armed with assault rifles and hand guns. A third possible suspect was seen running from the scene near the car, that person was in custody on Wednesday night.
On Wednesday night, sources said that one of the suspects may have been identified as Syed Farook.
Police had not officially determined a motive, but they were eyeing workplace violence or domestic terrorism as possible causes.
New York Senator Charles Schumer (D) told CBS2 that there was no proof that the shooting was terror related.
The shooting was called in to the Inland Regional Center at around 11 a.m. Wednesday morning. Police evacuated dozens from the building, many with their hands up, as they were led out to surrounding parking lots.
The Inland Regional Center provides resources and treatment for people with developmental disabilities. According to authorities, there is no clear motive behind the shooting — but the investigation is ongoing.
The attack took place in a conference area where the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health was renting space to hold a banquet, said Marybeth Feild, president and CEO of the center. She said the building houses at least 25 employees as well as a library and conference center.
Authorities confirmed that there was a dispute at a holiday party, and that someone left the party, but cops could not confirm that the person or persons returned and started firing.
One woman said she watched as men with large guns and extra ammunition moved in and began shooting.
“We looked out the window, second set of shots went off, man fall to the floor,” Sally Abdelmageed said, “We looked and we saw three men dressed in all black, military vests on, they were holding assault rifles.”
Police said potential explosive devices were found at the scene of the shooting.
Many victims were evacuated with their arms above their heads as police moved in armed and ready to face the unknown.
“What they’re trying to do is engage and identify a threat, which is quite something because now you have victims, you have people that are there, it could be one of the bad guys pretending to be a victim,” Michael McCann, Former UN Chief of Security, explained.
Injured victims were treated at a makeshift medical triage area, while others were carried away on stretchers to ambulances waiting on scene.
Word of the chaos and bloodshed quickly spread. Loved ones stayed in contact with those inside the facility through phone calls and text messages.
“I am in a tiny room with a bunch of people. We are freaking out. Please pray for us,” Scott Murphy, father of a shooting survivor, said.
People inside watched as gunmen made their way through the social services facility, shooting as they went.
The building targeted by the gunmen houses a conference room and was rented to an outside group.
“The only thing I know about the outside event is it was for a banquet for county personnel. The parking lot was full,” Brandon Hunt said.
Hours later, officers blocked a dark SUV that appeared to be riddled with bullet holes on a residential street in San Bernardino.
Authorities spotted the vehicle while watching a residence as part of the investigation, CBS2’s Danielle Nottingham reported.
Authorities said one officer was also injured and was taken to a local hospital with what appeared to be a non-life threatening injury, police said.
An expansive search of the neighborhood where the SUV was found has been completed and authorities were confident that the area is safe, 1010WINS reported.
No weapons were recovered at the center, though authorities were investigating unidentified items in the building and brought in bomb squads, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said.
Security expert Michael McCann, former chief of security for the United Nations, spoke with CBS2’s Kristine Johnson and Alice Gainer Wednesday evening about the shooting.
McCann said the Inland Regional Center, which is a government building, has many layers of security in place.
“I would think that in this day and age, for a building such as that nature, what they do is train all their staff to be aware and to take on a security role in addition to what they’re doing,” McCann said. “…For them also to be aware of their surroundings and use that phrase that we hear constantly, if you see something, say something.”
What strikes him as different in this case compared to other recent mass shootings, McCann said, is it doesn’t appear to be what you would typically describe as “a lone, deranged gunman.”
“The fact that there are three people; they were well prepared; they were well equipped with the guns they were carrying; what they were wearing; the fact that they fled very quickly” he said. “So I would think this was well organized and well planned beforehand.”
Experts said that preparing a strategy in advance is helpful in the event of a shooting.
“Know where the emergency exits are, and be prepared to run to them. If you can’t find an exit strategy, then you want to hide and find the best place possible where you could hide and hide safely,” Security Expert, Manny Gomez said.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner Steven Davis spoke with 1010 WINS Anchor Lori Madden, who said police are monitoring the situation in San Bernardino closely.
“Should there be any potential implications for New York, we are prepared to take appropriate security measures,” Davis said, adding that the NYPD is not aware of any threats against the city.
CBS News spoke to President Barack Obama, who is calling for ‘common sense’ gun legislation.
“What we do know is, is that there are steps we can take to make Americans safer and that we should come together in a bipartisan basis at every level of government to, to make these rare as opposed to normal,” Obama said.
“We should never think that this is something that just happens in the ordinary course of events, because it doesn’t happen with the same frequency in other countries.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called for tighter federal gun control legislation in wake of the shootings.
“Congress must find the political will to act,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Gun violence is an injustice against the American people, and Washington’s failure to address it is appalling and inexcusable.”
Cuomo also extended condolences to the victims in California.
“On behalf of all New Yorkers, we offer our prayers to the victims of today’s horrific shooting in San Bernardino,” Cuomo said.
Leah Gunn Barrett, of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, echoed Cuomo’s call for more federal action.
“There’s clearly something seriously wrong with this country that we can’t enact — Congress can’t enact — the simplest laws that will keep guns out of the wrong hands,” Gunn Barrett said.
Barrett said members of Congress who oppose gun laws need to be called out, and hopes voters take the issue more seriously, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said he called California Gov. Jerry Brown following the deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino and offered condolences and assistance.
Malloy said he and Brown commiserated “about these kinds of situations taking place in our country and during our respective terms.”
He said Connecticut officials learned many lessons from the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that they’ve shared with other state and local governments.
Malloy said state police patrols will also be stepped up at Department of Developmental Disabilities facilities as a precaution.
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