Wednesday, December 3, a mass shooting broke out during a holiday event in San Bernardino, California. The massacre killed 14 people and wounded more than a dozen. The shooters have now been identified as husband and wife, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik.
After a confrontation, Farook stormed out of the Inland Regional Center, where the event was held. Him and his wife then returned armed and opened fire at the mass of people.
Several party-goers turned to their phones during the shooting, fearing for their lives, wishing to say their last goodbyes. Denise Peraza was inside the Inland Regional Center when the shooting occurred. She called her sister, “I just want to tell you that I love you,” she said, drowning in her tears.
“As soon as the gunfire started, everyone dropped to the floor and they were underneath desks, and she was trying to shield herself with a chair along with a man next to her,” Peraza’s sister, Stephanie Baldwin, said, “Then all of a sudden she said she just felt it (the bullet) going through her back.”
Denise Peraza is safe, being treated in a hospital in stable condition.
After the shooting, Malik and Farook fled in their black SUV. Police chased them to Farook’s home in Redlands, carrying a search warrant, when the black SUV passed the police cars. The couple raced back towards San Bernardino, in a road rage. While Malik was driving the car, Farook opened fire at the police cars behind them. About 21 police officers returned the fire, leaving the couple for dead.
When officers approached the SUV, it was riddled with bullet holes. Malik and Farook were dead inside the car. When police found the couple they were wearing “assault-style clothing,” San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said.
Inside the car authorities found two .223 caliber rifles and two pistols. Police also found three explosive devices at the Inlands Regional Center, rigged to the controller of a toy car. The explosives were of “pipe-bomb type design,” Chief Burguan said.
The death toll of the shooting leaves it the most deadly shooting since Sandy Hook. Since 1949 only two of the 28 deadliest shootings in the United States of America have had more than one shooter. The fact that the Inland shooting involved a husband and wife as the killers is extremely rare.
San Bernadino Mayor Carey Davis reached out to the relatives of the victims, “The desperation and despair that they feel, we feel that for them also,” he said. “I think that they need to rely upon their faith, they need to draw close to their families and recognize what’s the priority; and that should be their families,” Davis said.
Image via Flickr/jayneandd
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