During a pair of Thursday press conferences, officials shared more details about the fatal San Bernardino shooting that left 14 dead and 21 injured. The updates added new numbers to the evolving story, such as the nearly 500 bullets that flew as the suspects, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and his wife, 27-year-old Tashfeen Malik, were killed in a shootout with police. The rumored third suspect turns out to have been a false alarm. The most striking details to emerge concern the volume of spent rounds found at the murder scene and the stockpile of weapons uncovered in the home and vehicle of the attackers — armaments that are part of the clues now being sifted by FBI agents investigating the shooting as a possible terror plot.
Here’s a rundown of other things we learned about the San Bernardino shooting over the past 24 hours.
The names of all 14 victims killed in the shooting have been released by the San Bernardino county coroner
The list includes 27-year-old Sierra Clayborn, an environmental health specialist for the county, and Michael Wetzel, 37, a husband and father who leaves behind six children.
Los Angeles Times photographer Rick Loomis captured the gut wrenching moment when a man learned that his boyfriend didn’t survive the shooting. The Times reports that for 22 torturous hours, Ryan Reyes vacillated between hope, distress, and heartbreak as he received conflicting reports from family members, police, and hospital officials before learning that David Kaufmann, his boyfriend of three years who worked at the Inland Regional Center, was killed in the attack.
— Rick Loomis (@RickLoomis) December 3, 2015
The case is being investigated as a possible terrorist attack
Farook reportedly got into a dispute with coworkers at the county health department before returning to their holiday gathering to carry out his attack. But it’s now come to light that he’d also been in touch with persons being investigated for terror ties, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations is not ruling out the possibility that this shooting was not just the result of a workplace conflict. “We do not yet know the motive. We cannot rule anything out at this point,” said David Bowdich, the assistant F.B.I. director office in Los Angeles. “We don’t know if this was the intended target or there was something that triggered [Farook] to do this immediately.”
Congressional Republicans beat back a push for gun reform
Senate Republicans blocked efforts by Democrats to add gun reform policies to a budget reconciliation bill concerning the Affordable Care Act.
One of the amendments, brought by Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, would have closed the so-called “terror gap” by adding the names of persons on terrorism watch lists to the databases used to vet would-be gun buyers. Her measure failed, with 54 Republicans voting against it. Senator John Cornryn of Texas offered an alternative amendment that would allow for screening of terror suspects seeking to buy firearms, but give the federal government a strict 72-hour window for halting a purchase.
Senators Pat Toomey and Joe Manchin also put forward a version of their universal background check plan, which was knocked down by a vote of 50 – 47, short of the 60 votes needed for it to move forward.
Despite a continued push from Democrats and gun-control advocates, as well as scores of fatal mass shootings nationwide — from churches to community colleges to a center for people with developmental disabilities — not a single lawmaker changed position from an ambitious gun overhaul effort that failed more than two years ago.
The suspects left high-capacity magazines at the crime scene
Farook and Malik were equipped with enough weaponry and ammunition to carry out another attack, officials said at a press conference Thursday. San Bernardino police chief Jarrod Burguan said police found over 4,500 rounds of ammunition at the home the suspects shared and over 1,400 rounds on their person and in their vehicle. Explosives were also found on the scene.
The Trace’s Alex Yablon has more on the unanswered questions regarding the AR-15s used by the couple, and why what we do know about the crime scene evidence points to the possibility that their particular rifles may have have dodged California’s strict gun laws.
A former gun violence researcher called for an end to the ban on gun violence research by the CDC
In an impassioned Facebook post shared on Thursday, former gun violence researcher Mary Vriniotis urged the public to demand that Congress allow the CDC to resume funding research on deaths related to gun violence. For two decades, the agency has been effectively barred from such inquiries, under penalty of budget cuts. Jay Dickey, the Arkansas congressman who pushed the original amendment, now says he regrets the research moratorium.
“I challenge any member of Congress to prove the majority of his/her constituents would oppose the use of federal dollars to study this epidemic,” she wrote. “The Second Amendment does not prohibit the study of gun injury and death.” Her remarks came one day after a group of doctors met on Capitol Hill — hours before the San Bernardino shootings — to plead with lawmakers to lift the funding ban.