Report details horror, heroism during San
Send a link to a friend
[September 12, 2016]
(Reuters) - A report into last
year's shooting rampage by a husband and wife in San Bernardino,
California, reveals how three county workers battled to stop the
shooters as they sprayed bullets into a conference room full of their
The report released on Friday describes the carnage found by rescue
workers after Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik opened fire
during a Dec. 2 party and training session at the Inland Regional Center
for San Bernardino County health workers, killing 14 people and wounding
Authorities have said the couple -- who were killed by police during a
shootout -- were inspired by Islamist militancy, and have called it the
deadliest such attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001.
The 141-page document by the Police Foundation describes how three male
county workers "tried to stop the shooters by rushing one of the gunmen
but all three were shot." It did not say if the three men were among the
14 killed in the assault.
The dispatch also contains new details about the horrific scene
discovered by first responders when they entered the conference room.
"It looked like a bomb had gone off. Bodies were strewn across the
floor. Many had devastating wounds. Blood was everywhere. The smell of
gunpowder filled their nostrils and the sprinklers sounded like they
were hissing," it said.
It revealed that the gunmen had left three pipe bombs that they planned
to detonate remotely as emergency workers cared for the wounded.
"It is a frequent practice used in terrorist incidents," the report
said. The devices were detonated by a bomb squad.
Friday's report concluded that the first response by police to the
shooting was "exemplary" and likely saved lives.
[to top of second column]
A memorial still remains outside as workers return to work for the
first time at the Inland Regional Center (IRC) in San Bernardino,
California, January 4, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
"First responders acted with courage and discipline – using their
training and skills to act quickly and decisively in a horrifying
situation," it said.
However, the review highlighted the challenges faced by first
responders and investigators from different agencies, including
overlapping responsibilities and different protocols in dealing with
hundreds of witnesses and three different crime scenes.
"It is imperative to examine, analyze and learn from police-involved
critical incidents in an effort to continually improve. Certainly,
that is true of this incident," wrote Jim Bueermann, the president
of the foundation, in a letter introducing the report.
(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Helen Popper)
[© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.