Photos: Media Storms San Bernardino Shooters' Redlands Apartment
Journalists stormed into the Redlands apartment where alleged San Bernardino killers Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik lived after the landlord ripped the door open with a crowbar earlier today.
Landlord Doyle Miller, who owns the home at 53 N. Center St. in Redlands where 28-year-old Farook and his 29-year-old wife Malik lived, used a crowbar to pry open the door, which had been blocked with plywood by the FBI. Once the door had been torn off, journalists from outlets including MSNBC, CNN and CBS moved into the two-story apartment about 8 miles away from the scene of the shooting at the Inland Regional Center that killed 14 people and injured 21 more. The couple was killed by authorities after a chase and shootout following the attack.
Reporters sifted through the couple's belongings, including a book on raising children, photographs and shredded documents. The crib where the couple's infant slept was visible in the shots—full of baby toys, a blanket and a pillow. The kitchen sink was piled with dishes, and shots showed a treadmill in one corner. There was also a document that appeared to list things that had already been seized from the apartment, including a large amount of ammunition.
"I never thought we'd be allowed inside," CBS reporter David Begnaud stated on live TV, explaining that the apartment had been boarded up by the FBI after they had previously forced their way inside, breaking windows and the door. Begnaud said that journalists moved in "like a herd of cattle" after Miller opened the door.
CBS did not zoom in on photos or licenses and Begnaud chose not to touch anything, though other reporters did pick up and shuffle through belongings and show close-ups of driver's licenses and social security cards.
Outside, reporters asked Miller about the suspects. He stated that they moved in around the middle of May and that there was nothing suspicious about them.
"This is not real. This doesn't seem possible," he said when asked about his reaction. He described Farook as "quiet" and "timid," and said he "looked like a nice, clean-cut, young man."
He said the couple had signed a year lease and paid $1,200 per month, always on time. He said he'd never had any problem with them in the past as tenants.
Some were concerned that the media may have been disrupting an active crime scene, while others expressed concern for the safety of those reporters who appeared on live TV, Mashable reports. There has been some discrepancy over whether or not the FBI was finished with the scene. MSNBC reported that the FBI had already taken all the pertinent evidence, and writer Greg Sargent tweeted that a spokesperson for the FBI Los Angeles told him the scene was released yesterday. However, Grasswire reported that a spokesperson from the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department said that the apartment was not a cleared crime scene, according to Gawker.
There's also some discrepancy as to whether the landlord allowed the media into the home—CNN's news banner read "Landlord Invites Media Into Killers' Home"—or if they simply barged inside. Miller told CBS that the media "rushed" into the home. Buzzfeed's Jos Passantino tweeted that CNN reporters said that the landlord was taken away by law enforcement.
Some have expressed outrage via social media, comparing the reporters at the scene to Jake Gyllenhaal's character from Nightcrawler or Richard Thornburg, the smarmy reporter in Die Hard.
MSNBC basically filming storage wars with the shooters apt. WATTBA— Desus Nice (@desusnice) December 4, 2015
Finally, reporter Reggie Aqui of ABC 7 tweeted that the landlord had shut down the media open house of the apartment.
Farook and Malik were a married couple with a six-month-old baby daughter. Farook worked as a health inspector for the San Bernardino County Health Department. Malik had recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a Facebook post, according to federal officials.