[UPDATE – 11:45AM MST]: After gunfire erupted at a holiday party at a social services agency in San Bernardino, California, 14 people were left dead, while 21 others were left injured on Wednesday. The shooting has sparked an intense manhunt for up to three suspects, authorities said.
The shooting rampage marked the deadliest U.S. gun violence since the massacre that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, where 27 people, including the gunman, were killed.
San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said that the suspects were believed to have made their getaway in a dark-colored sport utility vehicle.
With as many as three gunmen still at large, authorites have ordered a security lockdown of all local schools, as well as city and county bildings. Area hospitals were placed on high alert.
San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said in a televised news briefing three hours after Wednesday’s shooting that the suspects fled the building and were believed to have made their getaway in a dark-colored sport utility vehicle.
With as many as three gunmen at large, authorities ordered a security “lockdown” of all local schools, as well as city and county buildings, and area hospitals were placed on alert, Burguan said.
Dan Whitcomb and Steve Gorman of Reuters also contributed to this report.
[ORIGINAL STORY]: According to multiple breaking news reports, at least one person opened fire at or near a state social services agency in the Southern California city of San Bernardino on Wednesday afternoon, and as many as 20 people injured, authorities said.
The San Bernardino Police Department reported on Twitter that it had confirmed 1 to 3 possible suspects and multiple vicitims in the shooting.
The agency is calling it an “active shooter” incident.
The San Bernardino Fire Department said in a tweet that it was responding to reports of 20 victims.
The shooting reportedly took place at the Inland Regional Center, one of 21 facilities serving people with developmental disabilities run by the state.
Images from CNN showed people being evacuated from the building, arms raised, as triage stations were set up outside. Police and SWAT teams were seen surround the building.
A police spokeswoman told the Los Angeles Times that the suspects were heavily armed and possibly wearing body armor.
PHOTO: REUTERS / MIKE BLAKE