We the people have endured yet another horrific tragedy. We suffered the loss of 14 brave Americans to two radical Islamic terrorists.
“[The attack was carried out] with a single, repugnant purpose: to harm, frighten and intimidate anyone who believes in open and tolerant societies; in free and democratic governments, and in the right of every human being to live in peace, security and freedom,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said.
On Dec. 3, 2015, 14 Americans woke up for their last time. These were the employees who went to work expecting another average day at their office in San Bernardino, Calif.. However, a seemingly typical Thursday morning took a turn for the worst when two terrorists breached the door at the Inland Regional Center and opened fire upon an employee Christmas party.
“It is horrible, and so weird how there have been all of these mass shootings and terrorist attacks occurring throughout the world,” senior Adam Paleo said. “I just cannot believe something like this can happen so close to home, it’s surprising.”
At 11:00 a.m., police received a call reporting an active shooter situation at the Inland Regional Center where employees of the San Bernardino Health Department were having a Christmas party. On an average workday, there are around 550 people working at the center. Two attackers, later identified as Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 29, entered the conference building and fired 65-75 rounds at the innocent employees. Police were on scene clearing assisting the wounded within four minutes of the initial dispatch.
The initial shooting left more than two-dozen people dead or wounded in the conference building. As police entered the building of the massacre, they discovered an explosive device laying on a table that had not yet detonated. Authorities then directed survivors to a nearby golf course to flee the potential threat of a follow-up explosion.
The two attackers fled the scene in a black SUV to a nearby house in Redlands, Calif.. Police received a tip that the suspects black SUV was seen parked at this house and authorities immediately pursued. The pursuit stopped 3.5 miles from the Inland Regional Center and turned into a violent shootout. The two fleeing terrorist fired 76 shots at surrounding authorities. In response, officers unleashed 380 rounds into the black SUV, which killed both of the attackers.
“I feel safe here on campus,” Paleo said. “We have the police around, but there could definitely be more security here around our campus.”
As the attack finished and the initial shock began to reside, people naturally began to question what the motives were? Who were the terrorists? Were they affiliated with ISIS? Investigators initially started to investigate the attack as another mass shooting, however as the investigation went on, it became more and more apparent that this was in fact an act of terrorism.
Farook was an American citizen born in Illinois. He worked as an environmental health specialist for San Bernardino County’s health department. He graduated from California State University San Bernardino studying environmental health.
Malik was brought to the United Staes on a K-1 visa. The FBI discovered that Malik and Farook had been planning this attack for years. Farook had previously traveled to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to find a partner to help carry out this attack.
397 people from other nations have been murdered by ISIS since October 31, 2015. ISIS blew up a Russian plane over Egypt, taking 224 lives. A pair of suicide bombings in Beruit killed 44. Paris suffered from an attack which took 129 lives. Now, 14 of our own have been killed by ISIS. The world responded to these atrocities by carrying out over 8,000 coalition airstrikes on known ISIS targets.
“You never know when or why these tragedies happen, just be prepared,” Paleo said.