What started as a festive holiday event in San Bernardino, California, ended in a massacre, with 14 people killed and 17 others wounded or hurt while trying to escape.
Here’s what we know about the Inland Regional Center, site of Wednesday’s mass shooting.
What kind of work does the center do?
The Inland Regional Center coordinates support services for people with developmental disabilities in Riverside and San Bernardino counties “so they can live more independently in the community,” California Department of Developmental Services spokeswoman Nancy Lungren said. Criteria for services includes intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and autism. The center’s Facebook page says it employs nearly 670 people at its two facilities, providing service to more than 30,200 people. The San Bernardino location has three buildings, including a conference center, where the initial shootings occurred. It was unclear how many people were at the facility at the time of the shooting.
What was going on at the conference center?
Keith Nelson, vice president of the board of trustees of the Inland Regional Center, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health was holding a holiday event at the center on Wednesday. The facility is available for rent to other agencies, said Lavinia Johnson, the center’s executive director.
The entire complex has security all the time and the larger buildings have locks at each door and one would need an escort to get around, Nelson said. But if the conference room is having an event, it generally doesn’t have the same level of security “because we allow for some public ingress and egress.”
What could have made the center a target?
David Bowdich, an assistant director for Los Angeles FBI’s office, said authorities do not know whether the attack was a terrorist incident. “We are definitely making some movements that it is a possibility,” he said.
One of the suspects was at the holiday event where the initial shooting took place, a law enforcement official told CNN. There was a dispute at the event and the man left, the official said. It’s believed he returned with two other suspects.
San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan confirmed there was a dispute. Someone left the event after the dispute, he said, but it was unclear whether that person was later involved in the shooting. “There was some type of dispute or something when somebody left that party. But we have no idea if those were the people who came back,” Burguan said.
Lt. Rich Lawhead of San Bernardino police said he was not aware of any threats to the center before the incident.