Police: 2 suspects in San Bernardino shooting dead; 3rd person detained
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) —
Two suspects in the mass shooting that left 14 dead in San Bernardino, California, one male and one female, were killed in an officer-involved shooting on Wednesday afternoon, Sheriff John McMahon told reporters.
A third person was detained. Police are still trying to determine if that person was involved in the shooting and if any other suspects are still at large.
McMahon said officers investigating the shooting at the Inland Regional Center were following up on a tip in Redlands when a dark SUV fled a house that was believed to be connected to the incident. Officers pursued the vehicle back into San Bernardino.
"The suspect vehicle stopped and there was an officer-involved shooting," McMahon said. The male and female suspect were killed and one officer received non-life-threatening injuries.
According to McMahon, the suspects were "dressed in kind of assault-style clothing" and had assault rifles and hand guns. Officers on the scene are proceeding carefully in case there are explosives in the vehicle.
"There were some things that were causing the officers to take a very, very cautious approach," he said.
The ATF said it is conducting "urgent traces" on two rifles and two hand guns recovered in the investigation.
A third person seen running from the scene where the suspects were killed has been detained, but authorities do not know if that person is connected with the shooting.
Police said earlier in the day that as many as three suspects were believed to have been responsible for the attack, the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S. since Adam Lanza's assault on Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. McMahon said Wednesday night that they are still trying to determine if a third shooter or potentially even more people were actually involved.
McMahon did not have a physical description of the suspects, but he said they were wearing the same "tactical gear" that witnesses said the shooters had.
David Bowdich of the FBI's Los Angeles field office told reporters that the motive for the shooting is still unknown and he is not yet willing to say for sure that it was an act of terrorism.
"We will go where the evidence takes us," he said.
According to Bowdich, the relationship between the two deceased suspects is also still unclear.
"We will continue to go down this road," he said. "This is a marathon, not a sprint."
The Associated Press reported that the FBI is also looking at the possibility that this was an act of workplace violence.
McMahon said officers were still processing the scene at the Inland Regional Center because they found suspicious devices there and one that may be a potential explosive. It could take the bomb squad several more hours to clear the building.
According to the Associated Press, a search warrant is being served on a house in Redlands in connection with the investigation.
On Wednesday afternoon, law enforcement officers surrounded the black SUV they believe may have been driven by one of the suspects involved in the fatal shooting.
A long gun could be seen in the street near the vehicle from the aerial video.
Video posted on social media sites show police rushing through the area, presumably in pursuit of the suspects.