MANHUNT UNDERWAY FOR SUSPECTS
As many as three rifle-wielding shooters wearing ski masks and bulletproof vests have claimed “multiple victims” at a social services facility in San Bernardino, California – a city of more than 215,000 people located an hour east of Los Angeles.
Initial reports from KABC TV 7 (ABC – Los Angeles) indicate that as many as fourteen people died during the rampage. Another fourteen people have been hospitalized in the aftermath of the shooting.
Obviously those numbers could change quickly … as San Bernardino fire department officials reported via social media that as many as twenty people had been shot in the attack.
The shooting began at around 11:15 a.m. PST on Wednesday at the Inland Regional Center, a three-building complex that’s home to a nonprofit facility which works with individuals who have developmental disabilities.
Shots were reportedly first fired in a large conference facility at the center, according to witnesses.
As of 12:40 p.m. PST, the scene of the shooting was still described as “active,” according to the San Bernardino sheriff’s Twitter account. Deputies were also asking citizens with information about the rampage to telephone their toll free tip line. Meanwhile a robot was reportedly investigating an “abnormal package” on the second floor of one of the buildings.
Witnesses told police that three suspects with long rifles – including one wearing “tactical gear” – fled the scene of the attack in a black sport utility vehicle. That prompted a regional manhunt involving local, state and federal law enforcement assets.
Those suspects remain at large as of 2:23 p.m. PST.
No known motive for the attack has been determined, and federal authorities have yet to classify the incident as a terrorist action – although San Bernardino police chief Jarrod Burguan has called the incident “at minimum … a domestic-type terror situation.”
Whoever these shooters are (and whatever motivated them), it didn’t stop U.S. president Barack Obama from immediately politicizing the incident and using it as excuse to impose even further on Americans’ Second Amendment rights.
“What we do know is the steps we can take to make America safer,” Obama said, referring to his prior calls for new anti-gun regulations.
What Obama neglected to mention is at the time of the shooting, California was home to some of the nation’s strictest gun control laws – including extended waiting periods, numerous restrictions on where guns can be legally carried and harsh penalties for citizens who violate these laws.
UPDATE: Suspects dead, identified.