Texts From Inland Regional Center Reportedly Sent During San Bernardino Shooting Are Harrowing
Update: On Wednesday, Dec. 2, a shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California left 14 people dead and 21 wounded. Hours after the attack, police pursued information that led to a chase of a dark SUV, which was later determined to be a rental car. A shootout between police and the suspects left both suspects dead. They were identified as Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, who were husband and wife.
According to SBPD Chief Jarrod Burguan, the four guns used in the shooting were purchased legally. The suspects were found to have 1,600 rounds of ammunition with them, and at a home they were renting in Redlands, California, law enforcement officers found 4,500 rounds of ammunition and 12 pipe bombs. No official motive has been confirmed, though a source told The Los Angeles Times that investigators are considering that it might be terrorism or workplace-related.
Earlier: The Inland Regional Center was on lockdown on Wednesday following a mass shooting in the facility. The state-run complex is composed of three different buildings, and provides services to the developmentally disabled. Around 550 people work at the center. Thus, hundreds have been affected by the incident, to say nothing of the impact it's had on the community and the nation as a whole. Texts sent during the San Bernardino shooting from inside the Inland Regional Center are harrowing, showing just how volatile the situation was as employees hid from three suspected shooters.
Terry Petit, whose daughter works at the Center, received a text from her that read "People shot. In the office waiting for cops. Pray for us. I am locked in an office." Another man received texts from his daughter, who was also inside the facility. The message was strikingly similar to the one Petit received. This particular text read, "Dad shooting at my work, shot people in office. Waiting for cops to catch him. Pray for us." Another woman, who was interviewed by CBS Los Angeles, received messages from her sister, who simply wrote, "There's a shoot out at my work I'm scared."
Casey Lacroix, who works at the Center, texted his father to let him know about the shooting unfolding, and that he was sheltering with others. Prior to safely exiting the facility, Lacroix was reached by his dad via phone call. He described the situation:
The fire alarm went off, but then someone started shouting in the halls there was a possible bomb so we were all told to get back into our office. Eventually we saw officers with vests and automatic weapons so we retreated to our room.
As of this writing, 14 people are dead and 17 more have been injured. The shooting has extended well past the Inland Regional Center complex. Suspects led police on a chase which ended in a barrage of gunfire. Late Wednesday evening, police confirmed that 28-year-old Syed Rizwan Farook and 27-year-old Tashfeen Malik were killed by police in connection to the shooting. After fleeing the scene, Farook and Malik’s SUV was tracked to nearby Redlands, California, where they died in a shootout with police. A third person who fled the gunfight was detained, though authorities said that they did not believe he was directly involved in the shooting. As of early Thursday morning, officials have not disclosed a motive for the attack. Terrorism has not been ruled out.