Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik went on a shooting rampage in San Bernadino, CA yesterday. Here’s what authorities know at the moment (from the Los Angeles Times at the time of publication.)
- Around 11 a.m., two assailants opened fire in San Bernardino at a party in the Inland Regional Center.
- Fourteen people were killed and 17 wounded.
- Police said there was “some degree of planning.” The shooters were heavily armed and had tactical attire.
- After an afternoon car chase, two armed suspects were killed by police: Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik.
- A third person was detained but might not be connected to the shooting.
- Authorities are searching a home in nearby Redlands.
- Some news outlets are reporting that at least one armed suspect remains at large.
Reaction across the country was swift with Republicans largely offering condolences to the families of those killed or injured but otherwise withholding comment until more facts were known. The Democrats from the President on down, called for more gun control, blaming insufficient gun laws for the tragedy, which is ironic given that California has some of the nation’s most stringent.
Of course, that was all before the suspects were identified and the potential of this being a terror attack perpetrated by radical Islamists became a real possibility. We’ll keep our powder dry on this one until more is known and join those offering their condolences to the families of those who’ve been lost, injured or otherwise affected by this horrific act of violence.
Closer to home, a bomb scare caused the evacuation of Central High School. While school officials didn’t believe the scrawl on a girls’ bathroom wall was credible, they none the less evacuated the building at approximately ten fifteen yesterday morning. Police and fire crews combed the building for any sign of an explosive device and, a half hour later, failing to find any, cleared the building for reentry.
Worried parents who’d received text messages from their kids, contacted Girard at Large to get information about what was going on. When we went looking, we found a press release and Facebook post about furniture donated to Parkside’s library by Brady Sullivan Properties.
About five minutes after we inquired, the district issued a statement saying there was an incident, that all was well and that questions should be directed toward the police, who released a more detailed version of events several hours later. Police spokesman Lt. Brian O’Keefe told Girard at Large that they had to wait to get the details of what happened from school officials and the school’s resource officers before they could issue their statement.
We wrote a complete time line of the district’s public information effort on this matter and published it at Girard at Large dot com. It’s linked to this news read. Yes, class, we will discuss.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Building on Hope and the Manchester Police Athletic League kicked off fund raising efforts to renovate the Michael Briggs Community Center at the corner of Beech Street and Lake Avenue with a tree lighting ceremony last night. Hundreds of folks attended, some giving moving testimonies about what the Police Athletic League had done to help rescue their lives from the challenges of broken homes and neighborhoods.
Building on Hope has chosen the M-PAL Center for one if its complete makeovers, where donated labor and building supplies are used to upgrade facilities. This is a really big project, though and they’re looking to raise an additional half a million dollars to ensure that everything that needs to be done to make the space more accessible and usable to be of greater service to the city’s youth and area neighbors gets done.
Retired Police Chief David J. Mara, who is chairman of M-PAL’s board, summed up their mission by quoting Lt. Brian O’Keefe who said quote “it’s much easier to teach a kid then to mend a broken adult.”
New Hampshire Magazine Managing Editor Rick Broussard, who is helping to lead the charge on behalf of Building on Hope, extolled the virtues of the project and explained why the organization had undertaken this particular cause, referring to it as the “miracle on Beech Street.”
Mayor Ted Gatsas humorously and in good fun, urged people to donate to the cause saying the city had already committed twenty five thousand dollars in Community Development Block Grant funds and that he was going to look for more. Even though last night’s event was not a fund raiser, Hizzoner urged people to cut a check when asked and not wait too long before being asked to cut one.
Police Chief Nick Willard had the honor of lighting the Christmas tree alongside Brigg’s mother Mary Ann Briggs, who hung a special ornament for each slain Manchester officer, engraved with the names. Tears rolled down her cheek as she hung the ornament memorializing her son.
Various subcommittees of the legislature’s ridiculously long named Joint Task Force on Heroin (we shortened the name) have been meeting this week. Not surprisingly, increased penalties for trafficking in fentanyl were unanimously approved and will find themselves on a fast track when the General Court convenes in January. Majority Leader Jeb Bradley’s effort to upgrade the technology used for the state’s prescription drug monitoring program seems to be on track, though there seems to be some squabbling over the cost.
District Nine State Senator Andy Sanborn’s sub committee is looking at his proposal to quote “establish long-term addiction recovery treatment options that are currently lacking in New Hampshire, including treatment centers or peer to peer recovery services that are holistic, widely available and at an affordable cost.” Looks like this one’s going to take some time to develop.
At Tuesday night’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen in Manchester, Ward three Alderman and State Repsresentative Patrick Long express concern about rumblings in the State House about delaying action on some measures do to budgetary concerns. Mayor Ted Gatsas expressed similar concerns about legislation not moving as quickly as it needs to noting that many of the people who opposed funding a drug court in Hillsborough County are in key positions on the task force.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next.