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Police Respond To Reports Of Active Shooter In San Bernardino, Calif.


We are still getting details about a mass shooting in San Bernardino about an hour east of Los Angeles. There are reports of victims, though we have not confirmed the numbers yet. We do know that the shooting took place at the Inland Regional Center. It's part of the California Department of Developmental Services. I'm joined now by NPR justice correspondent Carrie Johnson. And Carrie, tell us what we know about the situation in San Bernardino.

CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: So this Inland Regional Center helps people of all ages with disabilities and connects them to social services. There's a huge law enforcement presence there now - the local police and sheriff, the local fire department - plus an array of federal resources - the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and U.S. Marshals.

Now, Kelly, the FBI in Los Angeles says the local sheriff is taking the lead in the investigation for now. And the locals are describing this as an active shooting situation. As of a few minutes ago, authorities were saying the scene is still very active, in fact. President Obama has been briefed by his national security adviser on this matter, and he's asked to be kept updated about it.

MCEVERS: And as we said, we don't have confirmation yet on the number of injuries or, possibly, deaths. What are you hearing?

JOHNSON: So these early reports are often sketchy and wrong. Local law enforcement on the scene has described on Twitter multiple victims, including some fatalities. Initially, the fire department in San Bernardino tweeted something about 20 victims, but the number is murky right now. We're able to see images of people being evacuated from that area in the parking lot and going into the surrounding community. Of course, authorities are keeping safety first and then looking for clues as to who may have done this and why.

MCEVERS: Is there any information right now about a suspect or suspects?

JOHNSON: Nothing reliable. We know a manhunt is underway for one or more suspects according to local law enforcement authorities. And they are looking for one or more people in a black SUV - a sport utility vehicle. But it's not clear, Kelly, whether those are witnesses or suspects.


JOHNSON: And we need to be cautious about this because authorities have been wrong in the past - very wrong. In that Navy yard shooting in Washington, D.C., for instance, they held out the prospect that there were multiple shooters. It turned out there was only one. And we have to be really careful in these situations given what has happened in the past.

MCEVERS: That's NPR justice correspondent Carrie Johnson. And we will be updating this story throughout the show as we learn more. Thank you so much, Carrie.

JOHNSON: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Carrie Johnson is a justice correspondent for the Washington Desk.