LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — President Barack Obama is headed to Southern California Friday to pay his respects to the victims of the San Bernardino terror attack.
According to the White House, the commander-in-chief is meeting privately with the victims’ families without cameras or fanfare.
Erica Denise Hughes said while she is pleased that Mr. Obama is coming to visit, it had to take a tragic event of that proportion to get his attention.
“It’s unfortunate that he has to come out here and a tragedy has to happen,” Hughes said.
The terror attack has hit the San Bernardino community especially hard. “San Bernardino County is a very big county. But there’s a lot of connections here. One of the victims that was killed here is related to my former boss,” said Ivan Randall. “It’s time for healing and encouragement right now. So I think the president coming down here can definitely do that.”
Healing is a word you hear a lot in San Bernardino lately in a city that desperately needs it. Ben Munoz believes the President’s visit will help. “It’s the beginning of a healing process,” Munoz said.
Marie Cabrera also believes the president’s visit will help comfort the community. “It’s a big blessing for even them to see him coming down and taking the time to come and see them. That’s a blessing,” she said.
After the visit, President Obama and his family will head to Hawaii for his Christmas vacation.
Authorities also announced the social services center will reopen its administrative offices Jan. 4. The Inland Regional Center said Wednesday that repairs to its Buildings 1 and 2 should be completed by that date.
Building 3, which houses a conference center where the shootings took place, suffered substantial damage and is closed indefinitely.
The other buildings suffered some damage as police searched them. They were locked down after the Dec. 2 shootings for repairs and a subsequent investigation.
The center provides services to 31,000 people with such disabilities as autism, epilepsy and Down syndrome.
While it has been closed hundreds of counselors, therapists, case managers, social workers and others have been working in the field.
The shootings came soon after attacks in Paris that killed 130 people on Nov. 13. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks.
Both incidents have heightened public fears of additional attacks on U.S. soil.
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