SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — Family members and friends of social services employees remained on edge Wednesday awaiting to hear from their loved ones following a deadly shooting in San Bernardino.
Just before 11 a.m., authorities were sent to the 1300 block of South Waterman Avenue for report of a shooting at the Inland Regional Center, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
Upon their arrival, authorities learned there were upwards of 20 victims who sustained injuries after gunfire erupted within a conference room that was being rented by an outside group, according to San Bernardino Fire officials.
Paramedics transported the victims to Loma Linda Medical Center and Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.
At this time, three suspects remain at large.
CBS2’s Crystal Cruz spoke with Paul Lacroix outside of the medical facility who said his son Garrett — who works on the first floor within the payroll department — texted him when the shooting began.
“We probably had 20 text messages between us,” Lacroix said. “Now I’m at ease that I know he’s safe. Police have got him under control. They’ve got a good handle on it.”
According to Garrett, alarms went off within the facility. Shortly after, police told employees to hunker down, shelter in place and to silence their cell phones.
“The fire alarm went off and we saw people searching the building,” Garrett said. “Someone started shouting in the halls that there was possibly a bomb. We saw officers with vests and automatic weapons.”
Authorities then came by and escorted survivors outside of the building with their arms raised.
“We were all corralled into a corner of the building,” he explained. “They patted us all down and checked our bags, our identification and registration.”
Officials held nearly 200 employees on the railroad tracks near the building before they were driven to a safe location, according to Garrett.
Meanwhile, as they waited, many workers continued to send text messages to their loved ones to let them know they were safe.
“Everyone is really anxious right now, a little shaken up,” Garrett added. “They seem to be talking on their phones or texting. It doesn’t seem that anyone is really afraid at this point since we’re far away from the building.”
Authorities explained those who are waiting for loved ones who were at or working in the facility should go to the Hernandez Center at 3rd Street and Sierra Way. Police will help reunite survivors with their families there.
The Inland Regional Center has nearly 670 employees and services 30,000 families.