SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) – Police estimate that at least 14 people have been killed and more than a dozen wounded in a shooting at a social services facility in Southern California.
San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said at a news conference Wednesday that the number of fatalities was preliminary and could change.
He said up to three shooters opened fire at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles. No arrests have been made.
Burguan said the attackers came prepared with long guns. He said a motive wasn’t yet clear, but that the shooters “were on a mission” and “came in with a purpose.”
He said police are looking for the shooters.
The attack was concentrated in one area of the building where most victims were shot, while hundreds of other people weren’t injured.
Burguan said it’s too early to say whether the attackers targeted that area or chose it out of convenience or at random.
The president and CEO of the center said the shooting happened in a conference area where the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health was having a banquet.
Earlier, a man named Terry Petit said he got a text from his daughter saying she was hiding after gunfire erupted at the social services facility where she works.
Petit choked back tears as he read the texts for reporters outside the center. He said she wrote: “People shot. In the office waiting for cops. Pray for us. I am locked in an office.”
At a Shell gas station about a block from the shooting site, store manager Ana Fuentes said there was a flood of police activity in the area.
“There’s maybe like 150 cops going toward Hospitality Lane,” she said, as sirens echoed in the background.
She said she hadn’t gotten any instructions to stay inside but that customers coming in told her about the shootings at Inland Regional Center.
The center says on its website that it provides social services to people with developmental disabilities.