How San Bernardino shooting unfolded in US

December 4, 2015 6:49 am

and officers from several law enforcement agencies work the scene of a
mass shooting that killed multiple people and wounded others in San

Another morning stuck in a conference room, another requisite
all-staff meeting, and Patrick Baccari arrived to find his co-worker
Syed Farook sitting at a table by himself. He was wearing a button-down
shirt and a long beard.
Baccari walked over to join him. “Ready
to be bored?” Baccari asked, because that was always their joke. San
Bernardino County required its health inspectors to gather at least
twice each year for a day of speeches and continuing education. “I’m
ready,” he would remember Farook telling him and smiling back.
sat together near the back of the room as it filled with 75 people, and
soon their table was full, too. There was Chris Nwadike, a government
worker for the past 25 years. There were Isaac Amanios, a 60-year-old
father of three, and Denise Peraza, 27 and newly married.
technician wheeled out a podium. A supervisor stood up to welcome them.
At some point after the first hour, Farook got up and left his papers on
the table and his jacket on the back of his chair.

“Where’s Syed?” Baccari remembered someone at the table
asking, and then a little while later Farook was back, this time with
his wife, two assault rifles, two handguns and hundreds of rounds of
What happened next took less than four minutes.
people were killed. Twenty-one people were injured. And so many in the
San Bernardino County Department of Health were left doubting how much
they knew about not only their co-worker but also about their government
office and the country it represented.
One health department
supervisor sometimes referred to her team of inspectors as a “Little
United Nations,” because they had come to San Bernardino from
everywhere: Eritrea, Colombia, India, Mexico and Central America – the
most diverse office in San Bernardino County. “No talking politics. No
interoffice drama,” was how their supervisor, Amanda Adair, described
the office rules.
Farook had always been one of the most
agreeable, the quietest, and also among the best at his job, Adair said.
He was a college graduate with five years of experience in
environmental health. He had helped train his co-workers on a new
computer program and won gift certificates to TGI Fridays as an
interoffice reward for good performance. He had taken a long vacation
from work once to travel to Saudi Arabia and see the woman who would
become his wife. Early in the year, he had set up a baby registry at
Target for his newborn son, and his office mates had thrown him a baby
shower. They had asked to meet his new wife and teased him lightly when
he demurred.
“We all thought he was doing great, having a family, but still the same guy – peaceful and quiet,” Baccari said.
“He got along with everybody,” Nwadike said.
it was more than just the black mask and tactical gear that rendered
Farook unrecognizable to so many of his co-workers when he returned to
the meeting about 11 a.m. The division chief had just finished a talk
about statistics. The county supervisor had announced more hiring for
next year and then given everyone a five-minute bathroom break.
when, investigators say, Farook and his wife drove up to the beige
three-building complex of the Inland Regional Center on a quiet street
in San Bernardino, driving a rental car with Utah plates. They
approached the patio with unlocked doors that led directly into the
conference room, investigators said, and that’s where Amanios happened
to be sitting outside on his break. Amanios was shot and killed, and
then the shooters entered the conference room, where bagels and pastries
were still sitting on a buffet table and some employees had begun
posing for staff pictures.
Baccari and Nwadike had just left for
the bathroom on their break when they heard a blast followed by a series
of gunshots. Baccari was reaching for a towel to dry his hands when a
bullet ripped through the dispenser and sent shrapnel spraying across
the room. “Get down, get down, get down!” Baccari yelled, even though he
had no idea what was happening. They dove for cover on the floor.
hid in a stall. Parts of the ceiling fell down on them, and they pushed
the bathroom door closed with their legs. Nwadike thought he could
smell gunpowder. Baccari thought he could hear muffled screaming coming
in between the blasts in the conference room, about 20 feet down the
hall. “It was like the world was ending in there,” he said. “We had no
idea what it was.”
It was 65 to 75 rounds fired over the course
of about a minute, coming from a Smith & Wesson and two AR-15s,
investigators would later determine. One bullet hit the sprinkler
system. Water rained down from the ceiling. Gunfire pockmarked the
walls, tipped over tables and ripped through the podium. Dozens of
people were shot, at least one as many as five times. The gunfire
stopped, and then there were new sounds coming from the conference room.
my God. Oh my God. She’s bleeding,” said one woman, speaking into a
cellphone as she sat next to Hanan Megalla and called Megalla’s husband
to say that his wife had been injured.
“A lot of people are dead.
Somehow I’m alive,” said Denise Peraza, 27, making a call to her sister
from the conference room, where she had been shot in the back.
you guys,” wrote Julie Paez, sending a text message to her family from
the floor of the room at 11:20 a.m., according to a report in the Los
Angeles Times. She took a picture of her face as she lay on the floor
and sent it to them. She had been hit in the arm and in the stomach. Her
pelvis was shattered. “Was shot,” she wrote.
Four minutes after
the shooting had started, more people in tactical gear came rushing into
the room with their guns drawn. “Police!” one said, and the officers
moved through the conference room and then into the bathroom, where
Baccari and Nwadike were still cowering. “Don’t take anything! Everyone
get your hands up,” Nwadike remembered an officer saying, and they
hurried the survivors through a hallway and out of the building, past
the conference room where their morning had begun. They gathered
outside, waiting to be checked at a triage tent and then interviewed by
investigators. By noon, at least one of those co-workers had told
investigators that he believed one of the shooters could be Farook.
“That didn’t make sense to me,” Baccari said.
“He was doing fine. No problem at all,” Nwadike said.
all so confusing and disorienting,” Baccari said, because so much that
was familiar had become unrecognizable, and behind him in the conference
room the fire alarm was blaring, water was pouring down, and 35 of his
colleagues were either wounded or dead.
Washington Post

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