Police have named two suspects in the fatal shooting in San Bernardino, Ca. that left at least 14 dead and 17 injured on Wednesday morning.
Syed Farook, an American citizen, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, were killed in a gun battle waged with police hours after the shooting. Farook, 28, and Malik, 27, had a six-month-old daughter, The New York Times reports. An officer was shot in the exchange, said San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan in a press conference on Wednesday night, but the wound is not life threatening.
A third person has been taken into custody. That person has not yet been named by authorities.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Farook was an environmental health specialist for the San Bernardino County public health department. Fellow employees of the department were holding a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center, a nonprofit that offers therapy and other services to developmentally disabled children in the region, when the shooting began.
“He was very quiet,” Griselda Reisinger, a former coworker, told the Times of Farook. “I would say hi and bye, but we never engaged him in conversation. He didn’t say much at all.”
Just last year, she remembered Farook as having attended a holiday party in the same room where Wednesday's shooting occurred.
In a Wednesday night press conference, Police Chief Burguan said that "several" suspicious packages were found in the area of the shooting, and "one of those devices is believed to be an explosive device."
Fellow coworkers told the Times that he had just returned from paternity leave.
The motive for the shooting is not yet clear. In a press conference, chief Burguan said that there was a dispute at the holiday party, resulting in Farook leaving in anger.
He returned later, armed and with his wife. “There had to be some degree of planning that went into this,” Burguan said.
The Council of American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil rights group, held a press conference on Wednesday night alongside Farook's brother-in-law. The group condemned the violence, and pleaded with the public not to let the religion of the named suspects lead to an anti-Islam backlash.
"We condemn this horrific and revolting attack and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of all those killed or injured," said Hussam Ayloush, the group's Los Angeles area executive director. "The Muslim community stands shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Americans in repudiating any twisted mindset that would claim to justify such sickening acts of violence."
Daniel Rivero is a producer/reporter for Fusion who focuses on police and justice issues. He also skateboards, does a bunch of arts related things on his off time, and likes Cuban coffee.