The Prophet of Life
A husband and wife drop their 6 month old daughter off at the wife’s mother’s house. They tell her that they have a Doctor’s appointment. This is how the greatest mass murder in the United States since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings began.
14 people are dead and 18 are wounded in a mass shooting occurred today at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino California. The shooting occurred during a Christmas party being held by the San Bernardino County Public Health Department, which had rented a room at the Inland Regional Center. A man named Sayeed Farouk was identified by a witness from inside the Christmas party seemed nervous before angrily leaving the party. A man named Syed Farook is listed as an employee who works as an Environmental health Specialist in San Bernardino.
Twenty minutes after the man left, two people in body armor with long automatic assault rifles and ski masks burst into a Christmas party of 25-45 people and began shooting. They sprayed the room with 70 bullets and seemed to shoot people indiscriminately. As the shots were fired some of the wounded played dead. People in other parts of the building dove under desks, locked themselves into offices and barricaded in rooms trying to avoid being shot. The three men were seen fleeing the scene in a black Chevy SUV. Police are unsure if the massacre is a result of a workplace dispute or an act of terrorism.
Because police were not sure if active shooters were still in the center, firefighters set up triage on a nearby street. Ambulances and pickup trucks waited nearby to speed people to nearby hospitals for treatment. Screams and moans could be heard from the triage center.
A few hours later, police doing follow up on a lead, set up for surveillance outside of a house in nearby Redlands California owned by Farook’s Family. Without warning, a black SUV sped away from the location. Police pursued the SUV. Suddenly, the SUV stopped, a man got out and began shooting towards the police cars. Witnesses saw that man hit by returned police gunfire. Another suspect fled the scene from the passenger side of the SUV. Thousands of bullets, some coming from a helicopter overhead, riddled the SUV, flattening the tires and blew out some of the windows. The people inside the car shot 76 bullets at police and police returned with over 3,000 rounds. One police officer was injured as a result of a ricochet bullet. His injuries are not life threatening.
Police SUV’s moved in to block the SUV. Once suspect was dead outside of the vehicle near the driver’s side door. Another one was in the back of the car, injured and holding a gun. Officers waited to offer that suspect assistance as they weren’t sure if the person was going to shoot at them or if the car was wired with explosives. That person has since died. One of the dead suspects in and by the SUV was male and one was female. NBC News announced that the dead male suspect was Syed Farook 28, and CBS Evening News announced that Syed Farook worked at the Inland Regional Center. Police have now confirmed that. The dead female was his wife Tashfeen Malik, 27. Police swept the Regional Center for a potential bomb and are sweeping the SUV and the house in Redlands.
Police searched for the suspect that may have run from the SUV. A shirtless man was swept into a police car. That person has been detained. Police also thought a suspect was in a church and then moved to a blue house where witnesses said they saw a man in dark clothing and body armor jumping over the fence behind. Police have determined that that that house is clear of any people but they are cautiously sweeping that building, the church and the SUV for explosives. They are using robots to assist in this task. Police are still not sure if the suspect that they believe ran from the SUV has been captured or is still at large.
An explosive device was found in the conference room where the mass shooting took place and in the SUV where the police engaged Farook and Malik in a shootout. Farook and Malik’s guns were obtained legally. The explosive devices were of the crude homemade variety. A later sweep of their apartment revealed over 4,500 bullets and 12 pipe bombs as well as bomb making equipment. Preliminary checks of Syed’s computer reveal that he was in contact with terrorism suspects both domestically and internationally. He also viewed ISIS propaganda online. There is also a possibility that Sayed made a trip to Pakistan as well as Saudi Arabia when he was visiting Malik when she was his fiancée.
Some experts have speculated that the massacre may have been an example of a hybrid workplace jihad where someone gets mad at co-workers and massacres people at their workplace. There is a danger in this type of branding. Just because the killers were Arabic and Muslim does not mean that if the killing was a workplace dispute killing, it should be branded as a jihad. If the killing was a terrorist act then call it that but don’t call a workplace killing a Jihad just because the killers are Muslim.
Neighbors were questioned by police. One of them stated that they had seen some suspicious activities at the home where the SUV took off from. She had seen packages being delivered, activity in the garage and groups of middle eastern men visiting the home. They didn’t report any of the activity to police because they didn’t want to be seen as racist or as engaging in racial profiling.
The 14 murdered by Farook and Malik ranged in age from26 to 60, they were: Isaac Amanios, 60, Robert Adams, 40, Bennetta Bet-Badal, 46, Harry Bowman, 46, Sierra Clayborn, 27, Juan Espinoza, 50, Aurora Godoy, 26, Shannon Johnson, 45, Damian Meins, 58, Tin Nguyen, 31, Nicholas Thalasinos, 52, Yvette Velasco, 27, Mike Raymond Wetzel, 37, Larry Daniel Kaufman, 42. Most of the dead were employees of San Bernardino County Environmental Health. Kaufman ran the Coffee shop at the Inland Regional Center.
Farook was an American and his wife was a Saudi national. They met online. His online dating profile said that he liked snowboarding, target shooting and reading religious books. He had recently traveled to Saudi Arabia to bring his wife back to America. His co-workers said that he seemed like a happy person, that he didn’t have any workplace beefs and that he seemed to be living the American Dream.
The inland Regional Center serves over 30,000 people with developmental disabilities and has over 600 staff members. It offers counseling, job training and other services to people who are autistic, mentally retarded, and aphasic and other disabilities.
We pray for the victims.
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