The Latest: Officer describes taking bullet after killings
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — The latest on the shootings in San Bernardino, California (all times local):
The only officer shot in the gunfight that killed the husband and wife behind the San Bernardino shootings says he’s a former Marine who was determined to keep fighting even after he took the bullet.
Officer Nicholas Koahou (koh-AH’-hoo) was among those who came upon the couple hours after they had killed 14 people at a social services center. He gave his account of the gunbattle at a news conference Tuesday.
Koahou says he saw the couple refusing to stop as they drove in a black SUV, and he started hearing gunshots. Then the car and the officers in front of him stopped and the shots turned into a constant, deafening barrage.
He was running to help back up a deputy when he was shot. The man, Syed Farook, was already down in the street at the time. It was his wife, Tashfeen Malik, who was still firing from the back of the vehicle and shot him.
Koahou said his time as a Marine taught him he was never out of the fight, and he got back up on his feet on his own until other officers ran up to extract him.
A sheriff’s detective who won praise for his bold shepherding of frightened people out of the Southern California building where a couple opened fire last week says it was a crazy situation and he did nothing that anyone in his position wouldn’t have done.
Detective Jorge Lozano was captured on video in a hallway of the Inland Regional Center telling employees and others who were stranded to follow him and that he would “take a bullet before you do.”
On Tuesday, he talked about the moment for the first time at a news conference of first responders to the shootings.
He said he was scared himself when someone opened a door without announcing themselves. But he knew the people he was responsible for, including a terrified child, were relying on him for comfort and calm, so he provided it.
The Southern California social service center where a husband and wife killed 14 people will not reopen until January at the earliest.
Officials had hoped to open next week, but Leeza Hoyt, a spokeswoman for the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, says that’s not practical.
Law enforcement hasn’t yet handed over control of the crime scene, after which the center will have to clean up. Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, opened fire on a holiday party of his co-workers there last Wednesday.
Hoyt says caseworkers are still doing field work. Employees help residents with disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy and epilepsy find jobs, housing and transportation.
The center wants to set up administrative offices off site so employees and vendors will continue to be paid.
A bell pealed 14 times — once for each victim — during a vigil honoring those killed in the California mass shooting.
Hundreds of students, alumni and community members lit white candles during the ceremony Monday night at California State University, San Bernardino. The school was hit hard by the tragedy — five of the victims and one of the shooters, Syed Farook, were alumni.
The campus is just miles away from the social service center where Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, opened fire on a holiday party of his co-workers last Wednesday.
Mourners also gathered Monday at San Bernardino County’s Board of Supervisors building to mark the first day about 20,000 county employees returned to work since the shooting.
Early Tuesday, officials reopened the road outside the Inland Regional Center, which is closed during the investigation.