SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- More than 14 people were killed and more than 17 were injured when up to three gunman opened fire inside a large center in San Bernardino late Wednesday morning, according to San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan.
The shooters remained at large, and investigators do not know what their motive was, Chief Jarrod Burguan said at a 2 p.m. news conference.
The call first came in at 10:59 a.m. of multiple shots fired from the area of 1365 S. Waterman Ave., San Bernardino Police Department Lt. Richard Lawhead said. The department’s SWAT team was training nearby and was suited, “ready to roll” and responded rapidly, Lawhead said.
A man who received a call from his daughter as she huddled in a bathroom while hearing gunfire told KTLA that the shooting was inside a holiday or awards party attended by San Bernardino County employees.
Video from the scene showed multiple people being placed on stretchers amid a triage area on the street. People were seen being escorted away from the shooting scene.
Burguan said that preliminary numbers indicated upwards of 14 people were killed and more than 14 were injured in the shooting at the Inland Regional Center, which he called a “massive facility.”
“Up to three people had entered the building and opened fire on people inside the building,” Burguan said. “Information that I think is probably the most reliable at this point is that the suspects have fled, potentially in a dark-colored SUV.”
Witnesses told police that they saw three men with long rifles get into a black SUV and exit the parking lot, CNN reported, citing a law enforcement source.
Authorities believed the men were armed with AK-47-type weapons and possibly other automatic ones, according to the cable news channel. A source told the network that agencies in the area have been warned to be on the lookout for the trio.
While the SWAT Team cleared the building, a bomb squad located a suspicious package on the center’s second floor, the source told CNN.
The package was determined “not normal” by an explosive ordnance disposal team, and a robot would be sent in to handle it, the news network reported.
As the active shooting situation unfolded, sheriff’s officials were warning people to avoid the area.
A “hard closure” was in effect at Orange Show Road / Waterman Avenue and Park Center Circle in San Bernardino, the Sheriff’s Department tweeted.
SWAT officers were on the scene ensuring there was no active threat, Lawhead told KTLA, but he said he was not sure if a shooter or multiple shooters were still active.
The FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were responding.
A triage center has been set up in the 1300 block of Waterman. Personnel from the county and city’s fire departments were triaging and treating the victims.
A spokesperson from Loma Linda University Medical Center said confirmed just after 1 p.m. that four adult patients were being treated there, and that at least three more were expected. She could not provide the condition of the patients.
Arrowhead Regional Medical Center was treating six patients, according to a tweet from the county.
It was unknown how many people were in the Inland Regional Center at the time of the incident.
Nearly 670 staff members provide services to 30,200 people with developmental disabilities and their families in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, according to the center’s Facebook page. The center has programs for people of all ages.
Dave Hall, whose daughter goes to the facility, told KTLA that the center is used by those with mild to severe autism.
“Who would think of such a thing to make an attack at that kind of facility?” Hall said.
An emergency Board of Supervisors meeting was cancelled and the building where the meeting was set to be held was evacuated, authorities on scene said.
All San Bernardino city schools were on lockdown, the school district said in a statement.
Anyone with info regarding the incident can leave anonymous tips with investigators by calling the We-Tip hotline at 1-800-782-7463.