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A Day Later, Investigation Into San Bernardino Attacks Deepens


The names of the 14 people who were killed in a mass shooting here yesterday have now been released by the county coroner. We will be hearing more about those people in a few minutes. Meanwhile, investigators are combing over the evidence to find out more about just what happened yesterday and why. NPR's Nathan Rott reports.

NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: Arrowhead Regional Medical Center is about a 15-minute drive from the Inland Regional Center. But yesterday, ambulances made that trip much faster. They rushed six patients from a holiday party to the medical center's trauma ward after two shooters in tactical gear opened fire at the county build, killing 14 and wounding at least 21. Kevin Ortiz was one of those patients. He was shot five times.

CARLOS ORTIZ: One in the shoulder, one in the back, two in the leg, one in one of the thighs and one in the other thigh.

ROTT: This is his dad, Carlos Ortiz, who's been near his 24-year-old son's side since he found out what hospital he was in.

ORTIZ: We're fortunate and lucky that - didn't hit any minor organs or any vital veins or anything. So for being shot that many times, we are pretty lucky.

ROTT: Ortiz says his son is an environmental inspector with the county, and it's possible that he knows 28-year-old Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the suspected shooters.

ORTIZ: We have not mentioned that name to him at this present time. We're not going to mention it to him 'cause of the situation he's in and, you know - very emotional with the incident that occurred.

ROTT: Farook and his 27-year-old wife, Tashfeen Malik, were both killed in a gun battle with police on the streets of San Bernardino not far from here Wednesday afternoon. That gun battle, police say, was instigated when one of the shooters started at police officers from the backseat of a black SUV. The ensuing firefight was recorded by a police dispatch.



ROTT: Both of the suspects were armed with .223 caliber assault rifles and two semiautomatic handguns, all of which police say were bought legally. They also had three pipe bombs that they had attached to a remote control car and brought to the scene of the shooting, in addition to at least 12 other pipe bombs that police found at their home in Redlands. And on top of that, they had a staggering amount of ammunition. At a press conference, San Bernardino police chief Jarrod Burguan says officers found 1,400 assault rifle rounds and 200 handgun rounds in the couple's SUV. At their house in Redlands...


CHIEF JARROD BURGUAN: There were another 2,000 9-millimeter rounds found at that house, over 2,500 .223 rounds that were found at that house.

ROTT: As well as other ammunition and materials to make explosive devices.


BURGUAN: Clearly they were equipped, and they could've continued to do another attack. We intercepted them before that happened, obviously.

ROTT: The question that everyone's asking, though, is, why did they go through with the attack? Some of Farook's coworkers say that he left a holiday party that was happening at the Inland Regional Center yesterday before the shooting and appeared to be angry, leading to speculation that some sort of incident at the party triggered the attack. Federal authorities and Burguan says it's possible something triggered the attack, but it wasn't spur of the moment.


BURGUAN: Nobody just gets upset at a party, goes home and puts together that kind of an elaborate scheme or plan to come back and do that. So there was some planning that went into this.

ROTT: How long that plan has been going on and why is still under investigation by the scores of federal and local law enforcement officers that are here investigating the case and in Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, the city of San Bernardino is still trying to get back on its feet. A vigil is planned for later tonight. Nathan Rott, NPR News, San Bernardino. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Nathan Rott is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk, where he focuses on environment issues and the American West.