Skip to main content

Report Outlines Key Takeaways from San Bernardino Terrorist Attack

May 25--SAN BERNARDINO -- Here are key takeaways from the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office's report on the police response to Dec. 2, 2015 terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino:

Shooters had an arsenal of weapons

Syed Rizwan Farook was dressed in black cargo pants, black shirt and black socks. He was wearing a tactical vest and a Serpa drop-down style thigh holster containing a Springfield 9mm semi-automatic pistol with a loaded magazine. He had a Smith & Wesson M&P MP-15 semi-automatic rifle, a black bandolier style belt with attached magazine pouches, an ammunition bag and 12 magazines.

Tashfeen Malik, Farook's wife, also was dressed in black. She was wearing a vest with spare rifle and pistol magazines and a Serpa drop-down thigh holster containing a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and magazine. She had a black DPMS AR-15 semi-automatic rifle slung around her body. Police removed from her body 17 magazines.

A black backpack containing 14 rifle and pistol magazines, a clear plastic bag containing 149 cartridges and another bag with 176 cartridges and 11 magazines. They also found a military style ammunition container with 870 rifle cartridges loaded into 10-round clips and three rifle sighting systems.

The shooters' wounds

Farook had 27 discernible gunshot entry wounds, all below the head. He had cuts all over his body, including his head. He was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Malik had about 15 gunshot wounds -- the exact number could not be determined -- including two to her head.

Secret Service involved

Secret Service agent Robert Poland went to the IRC with an unnamed Riverside County Sheriff's investigator, "T.C." to see if the active shooter was a threat to the president of the United States and later joined the pursuit of the suspects.

The report says the sheriff's investigator fired one shot at Tashfeen Malik but doesn't say if the Secret Service agent took part in the gun battle.

Cell phone helped locate Farook

The San Bernardino police narcotics team got two cell phone numbers for Farook from the SUV rental company and got an emergency ping on the phone from Verizon. The phone pinged to Farook's and Malik's townhouse in Redlands. Team officers went to the address and located the suspect's rented black SUV.

Barrage of bullets

Officers fired so many rounds at the suspects that some ran out of ammunition and had to reload or have another officer take their place behind cover. At least one officer's gun (Redlands Sgt. Andy Capps) malfunctioned.

Terrorists were difficult to stop

San Bernardino police Sgt. Gary Schuelke estimated that he fired at Farook's torso five or six times. Farook fell to the ground but was still moving. Schuelke fired two more rounds at Farook because he was still clutching the rifle. After Farook fell to the ground, Schuelke saw that rounds were still being fired from within the SUV.

Farook tried to make his weapon automatic

Syed Rizwan Farook had a Smith & Wesson M&P MP-15 semi-automatic rifle slung around his body. The rifle had been modified to fire fully automatic, which it could not do because the modification was done incorrectly.

Tashfeen Malik 'blindly firing'

Tashfeen Malik fired multiple rounds from inside the SUV before ducking down. She would then pop back up and open fire again. Based on Sgt. Schuelke's position, it appeared to him that she was blindly firing toward the officers rather than taking aim.

And San Bernardino police Officer Brian Karmann saw a silhouette of a head moving up and down in the backseat and a muzzle flash each time the head popped up.

Police feared pipe bombs

An unknown officer saw what he thought was a pipe bomb near a police vehicle. Officers from the San Bernardino Police Department evacuated two residences near the device. San Bernardino police Sgt. Gerald Beal and other officers set up teams to walk through the area to look for additional pipe bombs and any injured people. None were found.

During the gun battle, San Bernardino police Officer Edward Lee saw movement in the back of the SUV and saw an unknown object fly out of the rear of the SUV. He feared it could be an IED.

Terrified grandmother rescued from scene

As armored vehicles approached scene of shooting, San Bernardino police officer Raymond Bonshire noticed a vehicle in the middle of the road, west of the front of the Redlands Police Department vehicle. A terrified woman was slouched down in the driver's seat, and the woman's granddaughter was in the back seat. Bonshire and other officers get the woman and her granddaughter to safety.

___ (c)2017 the Redlands Daily Facts (Redlands, Calif.) Visit the Redlands Daily Facts (Redlands, Calif.) at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Back to Top