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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

Mass Shooting In San Bernardino

The FBI is now investigating the San Benardino attacks as act of terrorism. The attacks left 14 killed and more than 20 injured. Suspects 27-year-old Tashfeen Malik and 28-year-old Syed Rizwan are believed to have been radicalized in the months leading up to the attack.

Police have identified the two gunmen involved in the mass shooting in San Bernadino that killed 14 and wounded 21, plus two police officers.  San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Barguan in a press conference late Wednesday indentified the shooters as couple 27-year-old Tashfeen Malik, a Pakistani national, and 28-year-old Syed Rizwan Farook, an environmental specialist with the county health department.

The shooting on Wednesday morning occured at the Inland Regional Center at a holiday party that Farook attended.  The assailants, armed with tactial-style clothing, long guns and semi-automatic hand guns opened fire inside the facility before fleeing the scene in a black SUV. 

Police officers killed the two suspects in a shootout Wednesday after Farook and Malik led police on a short car chase. They had over 1,600 rounds of ammunition inside the van. A police officer was wounded in the shootout, but his injuries are not conisdered life threatning, according to the San Bernardino Police Department. 

Farook, who was attending the holiday party with his co-workers, left the conference room where he and his peers were meeting, and then came back with his wife and started shooting. There were some reports Farook got into an argument about religion with one of his co-workers shortly before the shooting occured, but ATVN could not indpendently verify that claim.

Officials say the shooting was heavily planned, adding it is highly unlikely that an argument at the holiday party inspired the shooting.

Three pipe-bombs were found near the complex where the shooting happened. Police detonated those bombs around 10 p.m. Wednesday. 

Shortly before the attack Wednesday morning, Farook pledged his allegiance to ISIS on Facebook. Facebook removed the message shortly thereafter.

Following the attack, ISIS hailed the couple as "supporters" of the terror group, but the FBI believes they the couple was just that -- supporters -- leading the nation's top investigative bureau to believe the couple was not in contact with any ISIS operatives overseas or in the United States.

"We have learned both subjects were radicalized and have been for some time," said David Bowdich, FBI Assistant Director in charge of the investigation, prompting the FBI to treat the attack as an act of terrorism.

Additionally, the FBI coducted a search warrent on the couple's Redlands, Calif. home on Friday. According to David Bowdich, FBI Assistant Director in charge of the investigation, law enforcement seized at least 12 pipe bombs and at least 19 "pipe-related material." 

In his first live address from the oval office in more than five years, President Obama called on Congress to authorize military operations against Islamic State and to tighten gun restrictions.

He also called on the American people not to give into fear.

"It is our responsibility to reject religious tests on who we admit into this country," Obama said, adding "It’s our responsibility to reject proposals that Muslim Americans should somehow be treated differently. Because when we travel down that road, we lose."

The FBI said this week it will interview families of the deceadents as well as those who survived the attack.


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