San Bernardino Shooters Had Target Practice Days Before The Shooting
On Monday, the FBI held a press conference to update the nation on its investigation into the Dec. 2 San Bernardino shooting. Officials revealed that the San Bernardino shooters had target practice days before the attack that killed 14 and wounded 21. The couple suspected of the mass shooting, 28-year-old Syed Rizwan Farook and 27-year-old Tashfeen Malik, were both killed in a shootout with the police the same day as the shooting. David Bowdich, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles field office, said in the press conference that the agency has evidence that both Farook and Malik did target practice at gun ranges in the L.A. metro area, though he didn't specify which ranges. Bowdich confirmed that on one occasion, the target practice was "done within days of this event."
Bowdich also revealed that both Farook and Malik were radicalized and "have been for some time." The FBI is still investigating how and when that happened, but Bowdich said that it's often over the Internet. He said there was no evidence the attack was planned outside the U.S., adding: "We may find it some day, we may not, we don't know. But right now we're looking at these two individuals and beginning to focus on building it out from there."
The Joint Terrorism Task Force is leading the investigation into the attack. Bowdich said more than 400 people in the area have been interviewed and more than 320 pieces of evidence were collected, saying: "This investigation is massive in scale."
John D'Angelo of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Monday that three of the guns found at the scene of the attack and the couple's apartment, two pistols and one rifle, were bought by Farook from 2007 to 2012. Two other guns were bought by a friend of Farook's, Enrique Marquez. The FBI raided Marquez's home on Sunday, but an official told NBC News that Marquez isn't a suspect in the mass shooting. "Right now, our major concern for the FBI is determining how those firearms and rifles in particular got from Marquez to Farook and Malik," D'Angelo said. According to The Los Angeles Times, Marquez entered a mental hospital following the attack.
The shooting is being investigated as an act of terrorism, and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Sunday told NBC's Meet the Press that the Justice Department is working "closely" with foreign governments, including Malik's native Pakistan. "We are looking at everything we can find out about these two killers live," Lynch said. "How they grew up. Where they grew up. Where they met. All of those things will provide us guidance."
Browdich assured Americans that the FBI would find answers to all the unanswered questions about Farook and Malik.
"We will get to to the bottom of this," Browdich said. "We want to find out everyone who participated in the pre-planning, if there was anyone else."