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Police Report At Least 14 Dead In San Bernardino, Calif., Shooting


We turn now to the unfolding situation in San Bernardino, Calif., about an hour east of Los Angeles. Earlier today, a mass shooting took place at a social services office. We know that 14 people are dead, and 17 are injured. It now appears that police have killed one suspect, and they are in a standoff with at least one other suspect. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston has been following the story and is with us now. And Dina, tell us what you have learned so far.

DINA TEMPLE-RASTON, BYLINE: Well, I want to stress that this story is still very much unfolding. There's an SUV that they've been looking for earlier today that now, we can see on television, has its windows shot out. We understand that at least one of the suspects is dead. Police spokesman said another one has been dealt with. We're not sure what that means exactly, and there could be a standoff that remains with the third. Again, all this is moving.

MCEVERS: So remind us what happened earlier today, when the shooting started and how it all unfolded.

TEMPLE-RASTON: Well, police officials say that this all began about 11 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, and this fire alarm suddenly went off. And we don't know if a gunman pulled the alarm to get everyone to leave their offices so they could be targeted or if someone heard shooting or saw something and pulled the alarm to warn others. But at any rate, it began with this alarm, and the police said the shooting happened in an auditorium of a complex known as the Inland Regional Center.

The Inland Regional Center is a government nonprofit that, among other things, helps the developmentally disabled get around, get them rides, that sort of thing. Sources confirmed to me that an outside group was renting the auditorium for some holiday function, and the shooting appears to have been concentrated there. The Los Angeles Times is quoting a federal official saying that someone left that meeting angry and may have returned with two other people, but we haven't confirmed that. I will say that my sources told me that they had some idea of who the suspects might be, so that might explain why this official told me that.

MCEVERS: And police have said that at least three suspects were involved in the shooting. What do we know about the shooting itself?

TEMPLE-RASTON: Well, we know so far that 14 were killed, and 17 were injured at the complex itself. But those numbers - they're always very unreliable in the beginning, so they're likely to change. But that's what the police have said officially so far. And when this all started, the local fire department said they were responding to reports of 20 victims injured. They're still trying to secure the building, so there could be other victims and other shooting sites. They just don't know yet.

MCEVERS: And we understand that the FBI and the ATF, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, have also responded to this shooting today. Does that tell us anything about what kind of operation this was?

TEMPLE-RASTON: Well, it's far too early to start drawing conclusions about this, particularly since we have an active situation that's going on now. I mean, federal law enforcement agencies respond in major cases like this as a matter of course, so the fact that they're here at this - investigating now really shouldn't draw any conclusions as, for example, whether or not this is terrorism, domestic or international. We just don't know what motivated the shooting yet, and that's the important thing that will give us an idea of motive and why it happened.

MCEVERS: That's NPR's Dina Temple-Raston. Thank you so much.

TEMPLE-RASTON: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Dina Temple-Raston is a correspondent on NPR's Investigations team focusing on breaking news stories and national security, technology and social justice.