A man and woman armed with assault-style rifles opened fire on the holiday party of his co-workers in Southern California, killing 14 people and wounding 17 others, and then were slain hours later in a shootout with police, authorities said.
The two suspects were identified as Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, who San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said were in a relationship, possibly married or engaged. He said they were believed to be the only shooters involved in an attack that required some degree of planning.
While the motive remained unclear, Burguan said, “We have not ruled out terrorism.” Farook was U.S. born, while Malik’s nationality was still undetermined.
According to the police chief, Farook was a county public health employee who attended the party, held in a conference building on the campus of the Inland Regional Center – a social services agency – and at some point stormed out, then returned with Malik to open fire on the celebration. The couple were dressed in assault-style clothing and also placed several bombs at various locations, which police detonated.
The shooting rampage marked the deadliest U.S. gun violence since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, in which 27 people, including the gunman, were killed.
Wednesday’s carnage amplified concerns about gun violence and security in the wake of a deadly rampage on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs last week and the attacks in Paris three weeks ago by Islamic State militants that killed 130…