Live in Loma Linda - On the Ground Reports from Inland Regional Shooting

LOMA LINDA - Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC) found itself at the center of a mass shooting story that garnered national news attention Wednesday. We reported live from the Medical Center as the story unfolded.

At approximately 11:00am, 911 calls began to come through from a mass-shooting incident at the Inland Regional Center, a facility that provides services to individuals with mental disabilities. We now know that three shooters were involved in the incident that resulted in multiple injuries and at least 14 fatalities. The incident took place during a Christmas party in the facility.

Loma Linda University Medical Center, the only Level 1 trauma center in the Inland Empire, played a central role in the aftermath of the event, which occured less than three miles away.

At approximately 12:20pm, I spoke with my father Kenneth Wright, who is a professor of anatomy at Loma Linda University. He told me by phone that the student health office and the center for health promotion, where he was having a tuberculosis test read at the time, was briefly locked down by campus security as a precautionary measure. The Social Work department at Loma Linda University was also temporarily placed on lockdown.

After hearing initial news reports, I traveled to Loma Linda and joined local, national and international media outside the Loma Linda University Medical Center Emergency Room, where reporters awaited victims from the Inland Regional Center shooting and updates on the story. Meanwhile a standoff between local and federal law enforcement and the suspects unfolded nearby.

Wednsday afternoon, law enforcement responded to a "code yellow" bomb threat at the Loma Linda University Medical Center, taken to be a legitimate threat. Law Enforcement swept the hospital, and the bomb threat was lifted at approximately 3:30pm.

At 3:10pm, along with the other assembled media, I saw several law enforement officials run to vehicles in the LLUMC ER parking lot with weapons drawn. Moments later, officers from the San Bernardino County Sherriff's Department, who had also been on hand at in front of the emergency room, also ran to vehicles with guns drawn. They raced north from the hospital in unmarked police vehicles. Within five minutes, media members near me began commenting on an officer-involved shootout with suspects.

San Bernardino County Sheriffs race away from Loma Linda University Medical Center.

Several news helicopters hovered high above, providing a live broadcast of the shootout with suspects in a black SUV, which had driven from nearby Redlands, California. Two suspects, a man and a woman, were killed in the shootout. Another suspect fled the scene. That individual was later detained near to the location of the officer-involved shooting.

During the afternoon, a red medical helicopter flew overhead, landing on the roof of the medical center. It was unclear whether the landing was related to the shooting or not.

At approximately 3:32pm, an ambulance with lights and siren engaged sped up to the entrance of the LLUMC emergency room. The ambulance passed through a police barricade and parked in front of the emergency room. A medical crew was on hand and immediately unloaded the ambulance. Medical personnel held up large sheet-like covers to prevent media from seeing and identifying the individual being unloaded from the ambulance. We later learned that the occupant of the ambulance was likely an officer injured in the shoot-out with suspects, though officials for the hospital refused to confirm that an officer was among the patients treated at Loma Linda. We were able to confirm that one officer was injured, and the time of the ambulance's arrival fit within the timeline of events.

An AMR ambulance approaches the LLUMC ER, likely with a shooting victim inside.

A law enforcement blockade in front of the LLUMC emergency room entrance.

Medical personnel held up large pieces of cloth to shield a victim being transported from an ambulance.

Hospital personnel worked to prevent victims from being seen and identified by gathered media.

At approximately 5:10pm, Loma Linda University Health Public Information Officer Briana Pastorino addressed the media assembled at LLUMC with an update about patients there.

Pastorino told media that five adult victims were treated at LLUMC--two in critical but stable condition, two in fair condition, and one more still being assessed. Pastorino said she could not provide any identifying information about their gender or ethnicity, and she would not say whether one of the victims was a police officer. "We're all shaken by this," Pastorino said. "We're treating people that didn't need to get hurt today," she said.

LLU Health Public Information Officer Briana Pastorino speaking with the media.

As I compose this report, police are seaching a residence in Redlands, California--less than a mile from where I now sit (and just over five miles from LLUMC--where the suspects were presumed to have been before the shootout. A massive police presence remains in that Redlands neighborhood.

The mood remains tense in Southland communities near Loma Linda University, as the incident continues to unfold, and details continue to emerge. We will continue to follow this story as it unfolds.

All images Copyright (C) Spectrum Media / Jared Wright.

Jared Wright is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7214
1 Like

My daughter and nephew were on duty in the hospital today - very frightening even before the bomb threat and lock-down. They were just able to head to their homes a few minutes ago - to Redlands - to shelter in place, pending capture (soon I hope) of a third suspect. I am grateful they are safe, but so very sorry for those who were lost, and their families tonight; praying for them all, including the deluded and angry souls who committed the crimes. May God help us all.

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The professional conduct and high ethical standards of individuals doing their job, saving lives, and providing care was so evident as this incident unfolded. LLUMC and LLU persons knew how to respond, avoid panic, and provide an example of cohesion amid chaos. Jared is to be commended for his reports and eloquence in reporting on all this. My prayer is for all of those directly impacted.

When horrible things happen, what we really want to know is that people love us and are there for us. We want to know that we’re not alone, and not forgotten. In the days following a terrible tragedy, we don’t want to talk about the silver lining, or to get into deep discussions about God’s will, destiny, national pride, or karma. We’re damaged, in shock, and in terrible pain. We just need love.

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Preliminary reports indicate that a former student of BMA and now an employee of SB county was one of the victims involved and treated at LLU. Let’s pray for everyone.

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Pardon my momentary ignorance, Elmer, but what is BMA? I was at a church board meeting last night here in Berrien Springs, and was told that one of the victims is an Adventist. Is this true, to your knowledge or anyone else’s?

I have no reason to believe that this is not part and parcel of the destabilisation plan of the enemy men’s souls, to keep the proponents of peace, justice and mercy scared and off the streets.

This country was founded on blood, especially in the case of Native genocide. To imagine that it can give up it’s bloodthirst is beyond the realm of reason. Our baby boys are being trained in terrorism by the games they are taught to play, our baby girls are taught to put up with, to deem violence as normal, by the entertainment provided to them. This ‘war on terrorism’ has made terrorism ubiquitous, for which we must thank the ‘great’ leaders of this country.

Christianity, too, was founded upon blood, in the giving of it to develop and strengthen others, not in the taking of it to weaken and destroy.

Close relatives with small children were at IRC while the shootings occurred and were not allowed to leave until 7:30, for questioning. And you call that ‘civilization’? Or greater provocation to disempowerment, discouragement, disenfranchisement?

Practice the Presence of God.

@kevindpaulson, @elmer_cupino: We are ALL victims in this WoT! Of what moment is some one’s religious affiliation? Do they deserve especial acknowledgement? Especially when that religion makes it’s own terrorists, purifiers, ‘shakers’?

Peace! Not division.

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Blue Mountain Academy, Hamburg, PA. (my home church). Info from the victim’s mother. Surgery done and doing well except “still in pain.”

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Yes, and be thankful that we had men and women, who were capable and willing to go face to face with evil. Especially those who live in that immediate area should have gratitude for these modern day Davids, who consider it an honor and a privilege to risk their lives to save others, to maintain, and at times, reclaim liberty and peace. I believe that their high ethical standards are just as admirable as the medical personnel you have referred to.

If it weren’t for these brave heroes, they’d still be shooting…

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I was glued to my TV all day as this was happening near me! I am so proud of Loma Linda Medical Center and all the employees who participated. I am proud of the San Bernardino police, Redlands police and everyone involved in this scary and sad situation.

Good reporting Jared! You got all the details!

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Jared, by any chance is his birthday on March 19? If so, I know a bit more about him.

Well, I also know several men named Kenneth Wright. A former Southern Missionary College president, and his son, and his grandson.

Hello Jared. You come from a long line of Wrights.