San Bernardino’s police chief confirmed that the mass shooting at a county Christmas banquet did not look like a spontaneous attack due to the amount of planning, devices, weapons and tactical gear involved.
Chief Jarrod Barguan told reporters in a late-night press conference the shooting suspects, both killed in a gunbattle with some 20 officers at the end of a pursuit, have been identified as Syed Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27. Farook was a U.S.-born citizen; the chief wasn’t sure of Malik’s background. He said he had no information on whether either had a criminal record.
Barguan said there was a relationship between the two; CBS News reported that the pair had been married for two years. CAIR said earlier that Farook and his wife have a 6-month-old baby.
Farook was an environmental specialist at the county health department. He had attended the Christmas party last year, and this year left the party early “angry” under circumstances that led police to the Redlands residence. The Daily Beast reported that Farook’s mother lived there.
Initial reports indicated there may have been as many as three shooters, but the police chief said officials are “pretty confident” there were two.
Pressed on the motive for the shooting, in which 14 were killed and 17 were wounded, Barguan said, “Until we know the motive … I just don’t want to weigh in on that.”
“We have not ruled out terrorism,” he said.
Notably, the FBI official who said earlier “there’s a few potential things” that point toward terrorism was at the later press conference but did not speak to the media.
Three explosive devices were planted around the scene of the shooting. Barguan said it took the bomb squad hours to defuse those — which consisted of an unknown material but were “leaning toward a pipe bomb design.” Until those IEDs were disposed of, law enforcement couldn’t get in to process the crime scene.
No victims had been identified yet, the police chief said.
Based upon what police have seen and how the shooter were were equipped, Barguan stressed that planning went into the attack. “I don’t think they just ran home,” put on this type of tactical equipment, came back and started shooting, he said.
Some reports said that the shooters were wearing Go-Pro cameras to film the attack.