Confusion About ‘Third Suspect’ in San Bernardino

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Questions swirl on social media about a “third suspect” in the San Bernardino terror attack, despite the public statements of law enforcement attesting that only two shooters were involved.

The suspicion was aroused by the fact that at about the time of the shootout that ended Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik’s murderous spree, police had closed off an entire neighborhood to catch a man with an orange shirt and camouflage pants who had been seen running away. Later, however, police told reporters that he had nothing to do with the attack.

As Breitbart News reported at the time:

10:22 a.m.: The San Bernardino police chief praised the heroism of his officers, who led terrified survivors out of the building and were able to track and stop the killers before they could strike again. The police also cooperated with the local FBI branch, which was called in to help dispose of booby traps at the Redlands home of one of the subjects. In a somewhat humorous twist, the man whom police chased Wednesday evening turned out not to be a terrorist, but was booked anyway on a misdemeanor warrant.

Lt. Mike Madden of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department had told the San Bernardino Sun, “We were told there were potentially as many as three shooters.” On Wednesday, December 2, the day of the massacre, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan, said, “We are going to try to continue to identify if there is a third person involved, or potentially even more people that might have been involved in the planning.”

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has been reticent to discuss the third suspect since then. Deputy Adam Cervantes stated, “Basically, he was contacted because he was found running in the area and he was released. We’re not going to be putting out any additional information about this individual,” according to the San Bernardino Sun.

But Burguan tweeted on Monday of this week, “Initial (information) was chaotic and indicated three may have been involved. Extensive follow up interviews have shown two were involved.”

Sally Abdelmageed, who worked inside the building where the massacre occurred, told CBS News, “As we looked out the window a second set of shots goes off […] and we saw a man fall to the floor. Then we just looked and we saw three men dressed in all black, military attire, with vests on. They were holding assault rifles. As soon as they opened up the doors to building three […] one of them […] started to shoot into the room.”

A second witness, Juan Fernandez, told reporters he also saw “three white men in military fatigues” who “took off” in a “black Impala or SUV.”


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