Shooting suspects Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik were both killed in a shootout with officers following Wednesday’s deadly rampage, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan confirmed in a news conference at 10 p.m. that night.
Farook, 28, and Malik, 27, were involved in some kind of relationship.
“We have gone back and forth on whether they were married or engaged but there was a relationship … either boyfriend and girlfriend or husband and wife,” Burguan told reporters.
He went on to reveal that Farook worked for San Bernardino County and attended the holiday party event at Inland Regional Center where the shootings took place, and “did leave it early under some circumstances that were described as angry,” he said.
The subsequent massacre in a conference room at the social-services agency in San Bernardino, California, left 14 people dead and 17 injured. Around 21 police officers were involved in the standoff and pursuit, and a cop injured in the shootout during which the suspects were killed “is expected to survive.”
Police initially thought there were three shooters but are now confident that there were only two — Farook, and Malik. Authorities have not determined a motive for the attack but believe there had to have been some degree of planning. “We have not ruled out terrorism,” Burguan said.
On Wednesday evening, the bomb squad disposed of explosive devices at Inland Regional Center that were thought to be of a pipe bomb-type design. Farook, a U.S. citizen and a Muslim, also had .223 Cal assault rifles and semiautomatic handguns.
The suspect’s brother-in-law, Farhan Khan, voiced his remorse during an earlier news conference hosted by CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
“I can not express how sad I am for what happened,” said Khan, acting as a spokesperson for the family. “I am very sad that people lost their lives. I am shocked that something like this could happen. I hope that everyone understands.”
Khan, who is husband of Farook’s sister, said he had spoken to the suspect about a week before the incident, but added: “I have no idea why he would do this. I am in shock.”
When pressed for more details on a possible motive, he declined to comment.
The names of the victims have not yet been released as the coroner is waiting until all their families have been informed.