Employees Return To Work At The Site Of The San Bernardino Shooting
The Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino opened today for the first time since the December 2 shooting that left 14 people dead.
The Inland Regional Center on the 1300 block of S. Waterman in San Bernardino was the site of a horrific shooting on December 2, during which husband-and-wife Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik shot and killed 14 people and injured several others. Today, employees are returning are returning to work at the campus, over a month after the tragic event.
The Inland Regional Center employs over 500 people, KTLA reports, and provides services to people who have developmental disabilities in both San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, amounting to about 30,000 patients. The campus contains two main buildings, as well as a third building that holds a library, coffee shop and conference center, according to the Press Enterprise. The shooting took place in the conference center, which had been rented at the time by the San Bernardino County Division of Environmental Health Services, of which Syed Farook was an employee. Employees of the Department were attending a holiday party and training session when the attack began around 11 a.m. While the two main buildings opened this morning, the conference center is still closed and it's uncertain when it will open again. A field office in Riverside also reopened today.
While many employees work outside of the office using iPads, this is the first time they'll be back in the building, where executive director Lavinia Johnson said that a lot of "camaraderie and social activity" occurs. "That closeness and that support is what we need to move forward," she said.
As employees arrived today, security guards were posted at each entrance to check their IDs and no visitors will be allowed entrance this week. A fence has also been erected around the campus for the time being, and there are counselors available for any employees that need them.
Farook and Malik died in a shootout with law enforcement following the attack, leaving behind a six-month-old baby daughter. Authorities later investigated their Redlands apartment, and determined that the two were radicalized before they met, and that Malik had allegiance to the Islamic state on Facebook shortly before the shooting. The man who purchased the rifles used in the shooting, Enrique Marquez, has since been arrested. Marquez admitted that he and Farook had planned an earlier terrorist attack on the 91 freeway and Riverside Community College in 2011, but those attacks were never carried out.
President Barack Obama met with the families of the victims of the attack last month. The meetings were private and the President did not give a speech.