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Mass Shooting in San Bernardino: What We Know so Far

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on December 03, 2015 10:25 AM

A husband and wife walked into a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California yesterday morning and opened fire. The two were killed after a police pursuit and shootout, but not before they killed 14 people and wounded up to 21 others.

Details were hard to come by as the story unfolded yesterday, but law enforcement and news organizations have begun to piece together a narrative of the shooting. Here is what we know so far:

The Shooters and Shooting

According to NPR, the husband and wife shooting suspects were Syed Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27. Farook was an environmental specialist who worked for the San Bernardino County health department for five years. He married Malik two years ago, and the couple had a six-month-old daughter.

San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan told the press that Farook was at the holiday party earlier in the day, but left in anger. He returned with Malik, dressed in fatigues and tactical gear, and armed with .223-caliber assault-style rifles, semiautomatic handguns and explosive devices. Farook and Malik opened fire on the office party, left explosive devices behind, and fled.

Police responded to a house associated with Farook, pursued the pair from the house, and killed both in a shootout involving over 20 police officers. There is a third suspect in custody, but police are unsure whether he or she was involved in the attack.

The Law and Response

NPR's Carrie Johnson is reporting that the weapons used in the shooting were legally purchased. California has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the country, and while Meredith Davis of the ATF says all four guns used by Farook and Malik were bought four years ago, she hasn't said whether they were purchased out of state or how and when they got into the hands of the two shooters.

This was the 355th mass shooting in America this year, meaning there have been more mass shootings than days in 2015. President Obama has called for stricter gun controls in the wake of the shooting, but he did the same after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. There have been 1,044 mass shootings, killing at least 1,327, since then.

The last time the Supreme Court addressed gun control laws in 2010, it struck down gun bans in Chicago and Washington, D.C., widening the scope of Second Amendment protections.

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