How Did The San Bernardino Shooters Get Guns? At Least Two Were Purchased Legally
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. The suspects were identified as Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, who were husband and wife.
According to Meredith Davis, a Public Information Officer with the ATF, 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 the suspects 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 a combined motive of "terrorism and workplace."
Earlier: Attacks in San Bernardino, California, Wednesday left at least 14 dead and 17 injured after the suspected shooters Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik stormed Inland Regional Center with four guns, an explosive device, and several rounds of ammunition. Late Wednesday, Meredith Davis, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said in a statement that two of the guns used in San Bernardino shooting were purchased legally.
The ATF said its statement that they had "successfully traced" the four weapons. The two purchased legally were bought by someone connected with the investigation, although they declined to name who. The bureau will continue to investigate the other two firearms, Davis said. Two of the guns were assault rifles made by DPMS and two were handguns, one a Llama and the other a Smith & Wesson.
San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan described the attacks as well-planned and not spontaneous. Farook, 28, was a health inspector for the county and angrily left a holiday party that morning after a dispute, according to co-workers, although police have said they do not have a definitive motive. Malik, 27, was in a relationship with Farook. The two fled the scene in a black SUV and were later killed in a shootout with police. A third person was also detained but it's unclear whether there was any connection between the third suspect and the attacks.
Bomb technicians were sent to the site of the initial attacks, Davis said. There was an explosive device found there during a sweep after the shootings. There were also devices that appeared to look like pipe bombs found at the site of the SUV chase. They were not actual pipe bombs but thick pipes stuffed with a cloth that made them look like pipe bombs, Davis said. They did not contain any explosives.
Police were still searching the Redlands home connected to the attacks on Thursday morning. The black SUV left the house before being chased by police. More than two dozen FBI agents are looking for evidence in the house and the garage, the Los Angeles Times reported. Federal officials said they think they will find evidence explaining the motive behind the attacks.
Police were also still investigating at the Inland Regional Center and forensic experts are examining the scene where police shot the two suspects in their SUV. A police officer was also wounded in that shootout but his injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.