President Obama on San Bernardino Shooting: ‘We Don’t Know Why They Did It’

By Kenrya Rankin Dec 03, 2015

In the aftermath of the December 2, 2015, mass shooting in San Bernardino, California that left 14 people dead and 21 wounded, there are still many questions. The largest is why Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik opened fire at a holiday party at Farook’s office. Because the pair—who were killed by police following the attack—were Muslim, some media outlets have stoked fears that the shooting was motivated by religious fanaticism. It’s a claim that their families have denied.



At a press conference this morning, President Barack Obama addressed the question of motive and made it clear that law enforcement is not attributing the crime to terrorism—or anything else:

At this stage, we do not yet know why this terrible event occurred. We do know that the two individuals who were killed were equipped with weapons and appeared to have access to additional weaponry at their homes. But we don’t know why they did it. We don’t know at this point the extent of their plans. We do not know their motivations. And I just received a briefing from FBI director Comey as well as attorney general Lynch indicating the course of their investigation. At this point, this is now an FBI investigation. That’s been done in cooperation and consultation with local law enforcement. It is possible that this was terrorist-related. But we don’t know. It’s also possible this was workplace-related. And until the FBI has been able to conduct what are [sic] going to be a large number of interviews, until we understand the nature of the workplace relationship between the individual and his superiors—because he worked with the organization where this terrible shooting took place—until all the social media and electronic information has been exploited, we’re just not going to be able to answer those questions. But what I can assure the American people is we’re going to get to the bottom of this, and we are going to be vigilant as we always in getting the facts before we issue any decisive judgments in terms of how this occurred.

Watch the full video above.

(H/t NPR)