FBI and police discovers new link to California shooting

San Bernardino police and FBI on Friday revealed more suspicious acts that they believed are or may be related to the deadly Southern California shooting carried out by a couple that killed at least 14 people and injured 21 others on Wednesday.

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Police work on a street after a mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino City of Southern California, the United States, Dec. 2, 2015. Two suspects, a male and a female, were dead and one possible suspect in custody after the deadly shooting that has killed at least 14 people and injured 17 others in San Bernardino City of Southern California Wednesday. (Xinhua/Yang Lei) (zw)
Police work on a street after a mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino City of Southern California, the United States, Dec. 2, 2015. Two suspects, a male and a female, were dead and one possible suspect in custody after the deadly shooting that has killed at least 14 people and injured 17 others in San Bernardino City of Southern California Wednesday. (Xinhua/Yang Lei) (zw)

At the press conference, Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan described an incident that happened several days before the massing shooting.

Police work on a street after a mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino City of Southern California, the United States, Dec. 2, 2015. Two suspects, a male and a female, were dead and one possible suspect in custody after the deadly shooting that has killed at least 14 people and injured 17 others in San Bernardino City of Southern California Wednesday. (Xinhua/Yang Lei) (zw)
Police work on a street after a mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino City of Southern California, the United States, Dec. 2, 2015. Two suspects, a male and a female, were dead and one possible suspect in custody after the deadly shooting that has killed at least 14 people and injured 17 others in San Bernardino City of Southern California Wednesday. (Xinhua/Yang Lei) (zw)
He said a man appearing of the Middle East origin asked a security guard of a local movie theatre about movie times, and theater hours at midnight.

The security guard later reported the suspicious act to the police.

But, Burguan said, there is zero evidence that connects the event with the shooting at the Inland Regional Center.

He also announced the official transfer of the investigation to FBI, but said they will continue to work together.

David Bowdich, FBI regional assistant director, that the agency is investigating the mass shooting in San Bernardino as “an act of terrorism” based on the information and facts they have collected so far.

Two broken cellphones were found at the suspects’ home in Redlands, a neighbor city of San Bernardino. “The suspects were trying to destroy their digital fingerprints,” Bowdich said.

He also confirmed that “There are some telephonic connections between … at least one of the individuals and other subjects of our investigation.”

He said a hotline was established and asked the public to provide any possible clues to the case.

“We are utilizing every possible resource to collect information and evidence,” Bowdich said.

Also on Friday, James Comey, FBI director, said at a press conference Friday in Washington, D.C, that there is no evidence that the couple related to any terrorism network so far.

The couple of suspects, 28-year-old U.S. citizen Syed Farook and his 27-year-old wife Tashfeen Malik had 1,600 rifle and 9-millimeter rounds of ammunition when they were killed, and 2,000 9-millimeter rounds and 2,500 0.223 rifle rounds at home, as well as 12 pipe bombs and tools to make bombs, said Jarrod Burguan, San Bernardino Police Chief, in a press conference Thursday morning.

Those do not include the hundreds of rounds they fired in the shooting and gunfire with police, Burguan said.
The couple, who left their 6-month-old daughter with grandparents on the day of shooting, wore black tactical gear with pockets to hold magazines and bombs and left 3 pipe bombs attached together with remote control in a bag at the shooting scene. The device apparently failed to detonate. Four high-capacity rifle magazines were also left behind at the scene.

Farook had worked for the San Bernardino County Health Department for 5 years. He attended the department’s holiday party at a conference room of the Inland Regional Center Wednesday morning, but left possibly in angry. He and his wife returned with the battle gears and went on a shooting spree in the room.

Though Farook was described as a quiet Muslim who followed a routine of going to work, returning home and praying, he and his wife are not on terror watch list and criminal records.

FBI’s Assistant Regional Director David Bowdich said that they still need more time and evidence to judge whether this is a terrorist attack.

Some 300 police officers from seven agencies of local, state and federal level responded to the shooting on Wednesday with 23 officers involved in the gunfire which led to the deceases of the suspects. Officers fired 380 rounds at suspects. Suspects fired 76 rounds at officers.

Burguan said the couple could be in some degree of planning to attack, but their true motive needs further investigation.

He also said that all four firearms used in the shooting appear to be purchased legally and registered.
Malik was Pakistani. Farook returned to the United States with Malik, who he met online, after traveling to Saudi Arabia.

The black Ford Expedition they drove to flee was rented by Farook and due to return on Wednesday.

The shooting occurring at around 11:00 a.m. local time (1900 GMT) Wednesday morning shocked the U.S. society.
U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday morning that “We are going to get to the bottom of this. There may be mixed motives in all of this.” He also called for stricter gun control after the shooting.

A previous coworker of Farook gave police an important tip that led to the search of the couple’s house during which police found the Ford car, followed by the manhunt and eventually killing of the couple.

There were several hundred people inside the building of the Inland Regional Center when the shooting happened. Most of them walked out unhurt.

The center is a non-profit offering services to individuals with developmental disabilities. It has about 670 employees and serves over 30,000 people. The three-floor pink building was not far from the busy highway 10. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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