Local Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-27th) has issued a response to the December 2 shootings in San Bernardino that left more than a dozen dead.
Chu emphasized the need for tighter gun control laws in a nation where 355 mass shootings have reportedly occurred in 2015.
“This shooting is absolutely heartbreaking. I mourn for those whose lives were senselessly lost and I share the concern of my constituents and those around the country who understandably fear their office, community center, or shopping plaza could be next.,”Chu said in a written statement. “And that is why our tears and thoughts are not enough. We must act.”
Chu went on to say the country must crackdown gun trafficking across state lines, strengthen background checks for commercial gun sales and to end the restriction preventing authorities from tracking gun purchases.
“It is clear we are failing to live up to our oath to protect the safety of our constituents and while I’m heartbroken for the lives lost, I’m equally heartbroken by the reluctance of Congressional leaders on the other side of the aisle to take even one step to prevent the next shooting,” Chu said.
A man and woman opened fire on a lunch gathering at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, leaving 14 dead and 21 wounded.
The man, 28-year-old Syed Farook, and his apparent wife, 27-year-old Tashfeen Malik , began their attack around 11 a.m. Wednesday dressed in tactical gear and armed with two assault rifles and two handguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Farook was an employee of the San Bernardino Public Health Department as an inspector. He allegedly was at the lunch gathering, but left angrily, eyewitnesses said.
The husband and wife fled the scene of the attack in a black SUV rented out of Utah.
Tips from the public led San Bernardino Police to a Redlands home where the suspects were seen leaving in a dark SUV that reportedly fled the scene of the attack. Police attempted to stop the SUV and a short pursuit began.
The suspects rear-ended a truck during the chase, eventually stopping a short distance from where the attack occurred. The suspects engaged officers in a firefight.
Farook was shot dead in the street, while Malik eventually died in the bullet-riddled SUV.
The husband and wife apparently acted alone and an alleged third suspect detained while running away from the gun battle in the street was not involved, authorities said.
Bomb squad technicians rendered safe three pipe bombs fixed to a remote controlled device left at the scene of the first shooting, authorities said.
Authorities eventually located 12 pipe bombs and 3,000 rounds of ammunition inside the house the couple rented, according to ABC 7 News.
Farook, a U.S. citizen, has no criminal record. The weapons were also legally purchased, authorities said.
Malik was in the country on a K1 Visa, authorities said.
A motive has not been established.