Update: What We Know About The San Bernardino Shooting

Yesterday marked another tragic and violent day for America. There were three fatal shootings in one day, with the largest and most fatal taking place in San Bernardino, where 14 people were killed and 17 injured.

Although there’s still so much to be determined about the San Bernardino tragedy, including the identities of the victims and the motives of the shooters, the two shooters responsible have now been identified as Syed Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27. There is speculation about a third shooter, who is now in custody, but as of now only the two have been firmly traced to the shooting: both the suspects died in action yesterday.

The shooting itself took place Wednesday morning at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, a place that provides services for clients with developmental disabilities. The attack, however, was focused on the holiday party for the San Bernardino County staff.

Farook, who was born in the United States, had been working for the San Bernardino Health Department for five years and was at the holiday party from the beginning. Reports say there was a point in the party where he left angry, then later returned with Tashfeen in tactical gear, poised to attack with .223 caliber assault style rifles, semi-automatic hand guns, and explosive devices. After 14 were killed and 17 injured, the couple escaped swiftly, despite the immediate evacuation of hundreds of people, and the closure of surrounding roads. Later in the evening, three explosive devices left on the scene were disposed of.

During the attack, Farook’s face was covered in a ski mask, but witnesses at the shooting were still able to recognize him which tipped cops off. They immediately pursued the suspects in the Redland area near a house Farook was linked to, which resulted in a shootout that implicated over 20 cops, and left both the suspects dead, and one officer injured.

The motives of the shooters remains a mystery, although the act itself falls under the umbrella of domestic terrorism, neither of the suspects have criminal records or any previous affiliations with fanaticism or violence.

On Wednesday afternoon Farhan Khan, Farook’s brother-in-law, spoke at a press conference with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for Greater LA, saying he was in absolute shock over the shooting and was heartbroken for the victims and their families.

The executive director of the LA CAIR office, Ayloush, made a statement saying:

“We unequivocally condemn the horrific act that happened today. We offer our heartfelt prayers and condolences to the injured, to the families of those who have been killed. We stand in mourning, in sadness, for what happened.”

Tashfeen Malik was born in Pakistan and lived in Saudi Arabia until she emigrated to the U.S. and married Farik two years ago. The couple had 6-month-old daughter, who was left in the care of Farook’s mother the morning of the attack. Ayloush said the couple had always been peaceful members of the Muslim community and never showed any signs of violence.

In lieu of yet another gun-related tragedy, President Obama called for gun-reform, emphasizing that we can’t let this be the new normal. We must pass responsible legislation to protect more innocent people from being slaughtered.

[NPR]