SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — All Terry Pettit could do outside the offices of the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, was worry.
Reports of an active shooter or more than one shooter at the agency for people with developmental disabilities were spreading fast, with possibly 20 victims, and all Pettit knew about his daughter inside the building were the text messages coming to his cell phone.
“Shooting at my work. People shot.”
“Pray for us. I am locked in an office.”
Perry cried as he spoke to reporters.
“She’s been hiding,” he said.
Details were just starting to come in.
Marcos Aguilar told CNN affiliate KABC-TV that his wife had just made it out of the building.
“She said the guy came in next to her office and I guess started shooting,” he said. “Then he locked himself in in her office. They’ve seen bodies on the floor. She said right now ambulances are taking people out in stretchers.”
Inland Regional Center’s Facebook page says it employs nearly 670 staff at its facilities in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, providing service to more than 30,200 people.
The center aims to “work on a personal, one-on-one basis with people with developmental disabilities to make their lives better as they define it.”
On Wednesday afternoon, however, the area surrounding the center resembled a war zone, with dozens of people walking out of the building with their hands in the air and lines of heavily armed officers aiming their weapons.
It is unclear how many people were at the San Bernardino facility at the time of the shooting.
Kristin Krause, who works at a charter school about a mile away, said the staff and 400 students were on lockdown.
The students are secure, she said.
“We have all gates locked. We are doing everything we can to make sure our kids are protected.”